We have just had a fabulous weekend with our now 21 year old son, who we flew up from Canberra because the thought of not seeing him for this occasion was, quite simply, unbearable.
We kept the two girls home from the first day back of school (bad parents!) so we could hit Wet n Wild before putting our boy back on the flight to Canberra.
Now, the Wet n Wild waterpark is full of rides varying in degrees of ‘scariness’. Youngest, Miss 8, was the first to have her courage tested when she was urged by her older siblings to ride the ‘Black Hole’ waterslide. By the time we had waited in line, climbed the stairs, near frozen to death by the wind and lack of sun, she had worked herself up into quite a state, bordering on tears.
But. She did it. And what did she say when we reached the bottom? Yep, you guessed it…”That was AWESOME!”. Like we all knew she would.
Next challenge on the agenda was the 54 metre high (about 17 storey’s) Sky Coaster. Strapped into something that looks terrifyingly like no more than a sleeping bag, you are taken up 54 metres and then you pull the ripcord to freefall to the bottom and then swing back up the other way. At 14, she was understandably hesitant but she has always been a ‘look fear in the face and laugh’ kinda girl, so she climbed into the ‘sleeping bag’ with her brother and did it.
And she loved it. Like we all knew she would.
It really struck me that pushing can be good. Without the pushing from all of us, the girls may not have done what they did. And they would have missed out on that fun.
Pushing those around us may seem mean and uncaring (I’m sure I was judged as a nasty mum in the face of Miss 8’s tears in the line!) but really, we are doing them a disservice if we don’t push them.
We need to push ourselves, too, as well as others. We need to stretch and grow, overreaching our own expectations of ourselves is a liberating and rejuvenating process. Discovering that you can accomplish something, despite your own misgivings and possibly the naysaying of others, opens up a whole new world of opportunities.
My girls inspired me yesterday. There are a few areas in my life where I need to push myself and I needed the reminder.
To quote Miss 8 on the way back from the waterslide – “So the lesson here, Mum, is that you should just try stuff, even if you are scared and no matter how big it looks. You never know until you try it!”