Maddie and I have a mantra, of sorts: Be brave. Maddie is overly cautious at times. She can be hesitant to try new things, hesitant to make a mistake, hesitant to take a risk. You will often hear us having this same conversation:
“Be brave, Maddie,” I tell her.
“But I’m scared, Mommy,” she whispers.
“I know, Maddie,” I whisper back. “That’s what it means to be brave. You feel scared, and you do it anyway.”
We have had this conversation so many times. Being brave might mean trying a new food, or making a new friend, or drawing a difficult picture, or loosening the training wheels on her bike.
We have had this same conversation at the local park more times than I can count. Maddie is hesitant to swing too quickly or climb too high. For a long while, she watched in solitude as her fearless peers ran and played and climbed the play structures.
So, my heart soared with pride at the park the other day when I watched Maddie climb higher and higher. “Be brave, Maddie, be brave,” I thought to myself.
Suddenly, I heard Maddie’s voice.
“Be brave, Maddie, be brave,” I heard her saying.
Higher and higher and higher she climbed.
So brave, Maddie. So brave.