Tonight my super-shy-4-yr-old hemorrhoid had her 3rd tee ball practice. The first had been okay. She actually took the field after only 1 meltdown. The next practice didn’t go so well. She almost didn’t even take the field. Eventually she did. It was ugly and snotty and but she did it.
I started working yesterday on today. I talked about being brave and explained that you couldn’t let being afraid stop you from doing things you really wanted to do. She listened. I talked and talked about being brave doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid it means that you do the thing you are scared of despite being a little afraid. I asked what she was afraid of. She answered that she was afraid we would leave her. Separation anxiety-especially right now-is a very, very real thing. I couldn’t tell her not to feel that way so I just assured her that we would never, ever leave her and that she had to find a way to believe that. “Be brave baby.”
So my girl took to the field. Little Babe nailed the same little dude in the chest twice during pitch and catch warm-ups. Bless his heart because the girl can throw! She ran the bases and even-be still my heart-raised her hand when the coach asked if there was anyone who hasn’t hit yet. That alone was an enormous act of bravery for her. After practice she came charging up to me and jubilantly said, “Momma I did it! I so brave!” I hugged her sweat little body and agreed with her. She was so proud if herself for being brave.
Tonight I am back in the aluminum bleachers where I spent 13 hours on Saturday. Long, long hours watching my girl-how can I put this delicately-SUCK. Armed with a new bat she was sure this was the tournament that she would earn her spot. Instead, she solidified her spot on the bench.
At 9:30p or so the coach came to say that our last game would be “about 11”. And it wasn’t the championship game we were playing in. Some (most) parents groaned and voted to go home. Our girls wanted to play! Despite having lost 3 games badly they wanted to play. We were playing against some kick A– teams so humiliation at midnight was a strong possibility. They still wanted to play. Pretty brave in my mind. They were beat up and bruised and battered but they wanted to play. Brave.
And here she is back here tonight-working hard. She’s giggly and happy and giving it her all. That’s brave. She could have asked me not to come. She could have claimed being tired or sore or having homework. She didn’t. Brave in my mind.
What is brave?
adjective, braver, bravest.
possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance.
So I stopped to think about that a bit. Brave isn’t always big and bold and grand and heroic. Sometimes brave isn’t noticeable to anyone but the person quietly doing something they are afraid of. People do brave things every day. When I read the definition I realized that I have done some brave things..
Bravery comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s public and grand at times, it’s quiet and unnoticed at others but one is no less brave then the next.
I am brave and I am raising brave daughters. That makes me happy. That makes me proud. What they don’t realize is that they are teaching me to be brave too. I am learning as much from them as they are from me.