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I watched you today, living your best life on the playground. Outside is your happy place, something you definitely didn’t get from me. It wasn’t long before you found your way to the giant rock, and like the trailblazer you are, you were scaling it before I could even get a word out.
Suddenly, I found myself in an internal conflict.
My right brain wanted to tell you to get down. Warn you that you were going to get hurt. Go scoop you off the rock. Keep you safe from falling. My left brain urged me to leave you be. She has to learn it whispered. If she got up there, she could get down. Sometimes my right brain wins, and I step in, sheltering you and keeping you out of harm’s way. However, today, my left brain was victorious, and I watched as you happily perched yourself on the top of the rock. You were so proud of yourself. I could see it in your smile.
After a few minutes of basking in the glory of your accomplishment, you were ready to come back down. “Mama, come get me!” you called. “No, you can do it. Come back the way you came.” I called back. “But I can’t do it.” you cried. I watched as you attempted to come back down the way you got up. Something about that path didn’t feel right to you, and up you went again. Not surprising to me at all, your next attempt back down the rock was a totally different route.
I nervously watched as you began climbing down the other side.
Please be careful, I thought to my self over and over again. Time seemed to move in slow motion as I watched. And then just like that, you were on the ground, crying. Even though I knew you were going to fall, I let it happen. I saw you sit up, and breathed a little sigh of relief. You were just a little shaken, but a lot wiser for it.
Sweet girl, there is something I want, no need, you to know. Sometimes I am going to step in. I am going to tell you no, you cannot climb that rock. You cannot go down that path. I am going to step in because, in the wisdom that only comes with time and experience, I can see the end result. I know there is a good chance you will still try. Almost everything is on your terms. I hope that from now until then, I can teach you to learn from the experience of others. And that by doing so, you might be able to save yourself from a mistake or two.
But sometimes, sometimes I am going to let you fall.
I am going to allow you to fall because I need you to feel the sting of failure. You will fail, and you will fall time and time again. But your character and resilience will be strengthened out of these failures. I want you to, someday, be able to discern for yourself the times you should climb that rock and when you should choose something else. Fortunately, life will give you plenty of rocks to climb.
Win or lose, failure or success, rise or fall; I will always be just behind you, loving you through it all.