benjamin franklin quote those things that hurt instruct

After skating lessons, that night before bath, we checked out her legs.  She looked down at her badly bruised knees, then looked at me, and then said, “Well, I guess I’ve learned my lesson.”

In our home we have a quasi mantra…You can fail, and then learn how to succeed, but you can’t quit.  Ever.  It simply is not an option, and it won’t be supported by any of the four of us living in here.

Learning is tough.  Deep learning, so that you understand it, is challenging.  It requires a complex pattern of practice and experience, both positive and negative, to be left with a deep awareness of something.  Ladies, remember child-birth?  Bet you remember it, and that you’ve been taught some pretty profound lessons, both about your little gem, but also about the strength you had (and perhaps found, because you didn’t realize you were THAT tough).

Our kids started skating lessons again this past week.  As parents, as for most of you, we enroll our kids in a variety of activities to encourage life lessons like fitness, teamwork, ability, and a general love of being involved.  And the classes that they have signed up for have been governed with a mix of what interests them, with a dash of what we think will benefit them as older children and adults.  Skating is one of them.  Our daughter took lessons last winter…not nearly enough to learn how to skate, but enough to get up, balance, and shuffle on the ice.

My husband used to build a rink in the backyard, well before either of our kids could hardly stand.  Learning through osmosis.  His hope was that if they had access to a rink, they would learn how to skate with greater proficiency, and that they would learn to love one of the few outdoor activities in Canada in the winter.  It didn’t quite take.  Our son sat on his behind for 2 years, and our daughter preferred eating the snow to learning how to stand and find her balance.

And now, for our daughter anyways, school now presents a new challenge.  Skating days.  In front of her peers.  Whom, we have deduced, have likely been taking skating lessons for quite some time.  They are fast.  They get up quickly.  They take turns with ease.  And they fall down very few times.

Our daughter spent the first lesson last week on the ice.  On her knees.  On her behind.  On her side.  And she cried.  She cried on the first fall, straight through to the last.   But she never, ever, quit trying to get up and move.  Every time she fell, you could see both defeat and determination.  And when it was her turn to get off the ice, she came running over, grabbed me, and wailed in my arms.  The kind of cry where you know they are hurting, both physically and emotionally.  She was in pain from falling so much, but more importantly her ego was painfully bruised, for she had learned that she had a lot of learning to do, and she was not quite yet the skater she wanted to be (and thought that she was).  “I hate skating!”  “I’m horrible.  I’m the worst skater out there!”  “I’m never doing that, again!”

She is much like her mother.  Bold and brash at times, quick and kind at others, and worries what others will think of her.  This public embarrassment is the part that hurts the most, but it’s also the part that makes you wade through it all.

The very next day, she attended a roller skating party.  And at first, I had to go out with her, holding her hand, providing a cushion and a shield from other’s view.  And then she let go.  And skated.  For nearly 2 hours straight.  She wouldn’t stop.  She fell.  She stopped.  And she got up.  And she skated her merry way around that rink for two hours, clapping at her favourite songs that played over the speakers, and waving over at me on the sidelines so as to gain reinforcement, but also to showcase what she had learned.

That night before bath, we checked out her legs.  She had massive bruised on her knees.  Really big.  She looked down at them, and then looked at me, and then said, “Well, I guess I’ve learned my lesson.”

Enjoy Your Moments with The Ones who Make Your Memories.

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