Learning to be brave

Genevieve learned to ride on her bike without training wheels a few weeks ago; it was a task I thought she'd never be able to do. Tim and I have spent several mornings working with her, but she refused to try without us holding onto the seat. Needless to say, our patience ran thin and and our backs wore out rather quickly, and we decided to put the goal of getting her on a 2-wheel bike on the back burner until we felt she was really ready. This, however, drove me nuts because I knew she'd be able to do it once she tried, but the trick was (as it always is with her) getting her to try it. When her grandparents were in town a few weeks back, we asked Pop-Pop to work with her one morning and within a couple of minutes and with lots of happy squeals from a very proud mama, she figured it out. I am still beaming with pride.

You see--Genevieve is unlike her sisters in so many ways. She fears nearly everything--bugs, heights, boats, unknown spaces, water slides, unfamiliar moving objects, etc. She wasn't always this way, but in recent years she has become more timid. I have tried to be patient with her fears, but sometimes it is hard because I know her fears are baseless. She has no reason to be afraid, but she works herself up until she is almost paralyzed. With the exception of motherhood (because everything about being responsible for 5 kids makes me nervous), I have always tried to be brave. And it is a quality I have tried to instill in my girls, but I haven't always been successful with Genevieve.

So that riding a 2-wheel bike is a such a big deal. She is doing something that is very hard for her. Just today she fell off her bike and skinned her hands, but I made her get right back on her bike so she wouldn't lose her excitement of riding. She did it begrudgingly, but she did it, and she made it the rest of the way home. I am always so proud when I see my kids accomplishing hard things; it is a life lesson that should be taught from an early age because life doesn't get easier, and they're going to have to confront the ghosts in the closets or the 2-wheel bikes sometime.

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