Okay, first a cute story. Ally is infatuated with two things (well, a lot of things, but for the purpose of this story, lets go with two). The song "Pocket Full of Sunshine" by Natasha Bedingfield, and a waitress at Buffalo Wild Wings named Tasha who is always really nice to her when we eat there. So, in cute three year old fashion, she has combined these two things in her head and asked us last night if we could go visit her "girlfriend" at "Pocketful of Wings". Awww! Kids rock sometimes. Here she is singing, and playing guitar to her favorite song, with her Cinderella wedding dress on.
Okay. Now for Riley. You know what sucks? When you recognize one of your worst traits in one of your kids. Why couldn't she have inherited my great typing ability, my thick hair, or my kind heart? No, she had to inherit my lack of confidence and ridiculous desire to do everything perfectly, which leads me to not do things because I'm afraid I won't be able to do them exactly right. She has been struggling for a while now to throw her back handspring at cheerleading. She can do it with minimal spotting, but has a block about trying it on her own. I've watched her struggle and struggle with this, and look devastated as one girl after another "gets it" and she doesn't. And I've watched her pull back and disconnect because she's afraid she won't be able to do it "perfect". How do I know this? Because this is my life story. I look back as an adult at a myriad of things I never tried, because I was afraid to fail. I always thought that if I couldn't do something exactly right, there was no point in doing it at all. And as a result, I think I missed out on a lot of the joy of growing up and experiencing things. I was the kid who was good, not great, at everything. I never gave anything 100% effort, because I knew in my heart that I wasn't going to be "good enough" at it. What could I have accomplished if I had only tried? What could I be now? And why did I have to pass this on to Riley? Last night, she tried her handspring by herself on the tumble track and fell on her head. She burst into tears, and sobbed for a few minutes, saying how she wasn't good at anything, and why couldn't she do this. Frankie, her coach came over and talked to her, spotted her, tried to cheer her up, and encouraged her, telling her that her time was coming and how close she was, but I could tell she wasn't buying it. My heart ached for her. I'm tearing up right now thinking about it. She's such a great kid, with such potential, but I don't want to see her go down my stupid, self deprecating road. Sometimes being a parent really, really sucks.