everything's going to be just fine
My little guy Cody, who just turned 15 months old, is just this waddling ball of energy. Full of toothless giggles in his diaper filled corduroy pants. The other evening the two of us were running around on the patio playing a few rounds of hide-and-go-seek, and then eventually I just let him do his own thing, until he just ate it. I'm not sure what happened on the way down (he must have tripped over his shoes), but I saw him just belly flop.
While I was figuring out what to do, he just picked himself up and started running again. Maybe he was running too quickly because a couple steps later he fell on his face once more. But again, he popped right up and kept going.
It wasn't until I watched him turn and literally walk off a bench / ledge and fall about the distance of his height when I panicked. I immediately thought of this Sunday newspaper edition BabyBlues comic I saw in the 90's, where the baby hits his head on the table - and is totally fine until he looks over sees the parents screaming and running over, and then the baby starts wailing. Remembering that comicstrip, I caught myself mid-action and let Cody's dad handle it how he wanted to. Long story short, Cody was fine, but that was when I called the quits to my babysitting experience.
I'm going through this thing right now where I'm not "running" in the sense that I want to. I'm living scared and overly cautious, as if I've fallen on my face too many times. My current pace isn't driven by fear; I'm just tired. Tired of belly flopping cause it just seems to hurt more as you get older. I can imagine it physically hurting (I'm getting old) and emotionally hurting - which in reality hurts much more.
I envy Cody's ability to bounce back, and I've been trying to figure out why I'm having such a hard time doing so in this stage of my life. More mass, and therefore more static inertia. What do children have, that we adults do not? Lack of history? Baggage? The mentality that there will always be something great right around the corner?
One of those moments where adults can learn from children.
This reminds me of this talk I listened to about "fixed mindsets vs. growth mindsets". The idea that growth mindsets are built through emphasizing the importance and power of the process, rather than the end result. Believing that we can improve, and the concept of "Not Yet".
We have to realize that we are not chained to our current capabilities... the brain is very malleable. And we can change our own ability to think and to perform. - Eduardo Briceño
I'm trying to shift my mindset and place more emphasis on the process. Reminding myself that I'm experiencing growing pains, and only in discomfort does one grow. I'm learning patience, and that I'm developing skills / experiences / emotions that I'll use later in life. However painful it might be, I'm trying to push myself to take risks so that I can learn. This is practice, and I need to be patient for when it is my time.
Thinking about Cody again, I can feel myself as him. However, instead of falling on my face, I'm lying on my back staring up at the blue sky with my arms relaxed by my sides (in Savasana pose). I'm in between runs as I've just been knocked around a bit. But I'm old, so it takes me a few more minutes to get back up again, but I'm also embracing it - cherishing the temporary lack of responsibility, the silence, and the pace.
But give me a moment and I'll pop up, with the hope that something better is coming. I just don't see it, yet.