I wrote this from the simple line ‘Child, you must start somewhere’ as a fun sorta Dr. Seuss like, encouragement to my young daughter. After writing I had the realization and belief that this is how God feels about us as His own children. So, where are you going to start? I’d love to hear about it!
We teach our kids to apply themselves and they can do whatever they want. Just for showing up they are rewarded and sometimes with very little effort on their parts. We coddle and push, telling them that winning is not everything it is the only thing. Then when they lose or fail we tell them it is okay that participating is the main thing. As parents, can we have it both ways? Are our expectations our of whack?
My daughter is already becoming an accomplished horse rider, winning Reserve Grand Champion for High Points in her age group in her first year of competing. She rides a full Spanish Arabian horse named TaajRico and thanks to the generosity of her trainer she is half owner of. He is called Rico for short, that is him in the picture above, and yes, that is me on the quarter-horse behind her. 🙂 She competes in Walk/Trot Hunter Seat and Saddle Seat Equitation and Pleasure classes. I am so proud of her, but I do not want her to lose her joy and love of horses because she has to always be aware of what she is doing.
“Watch your diagonal.”
“Keep your foot flat.”
“Lower your hands.”
“Sit back, you are to far forward.”
“Keep his head down.” …and on and on.
She has voiced even now that sometimes she just wants to be around her horse and ride for fun and not worry about all these things that might make her a champion. I want her to be happy and yet, I watch my daughter succeed at so many things and my heart swells with pride wanting to scream to everyone within earshot, “Look at her!” Is this a veiled reflection of my own insecurities and finding some redemption vicariously through her accomplishments? And she is only 10 years old, what does that say about me?
She is learning so much beyond just winning and losing. She is responsible to take care of this living breathing animal. Yet, when she does fall short I will minimize the loss and make excuses, justifying that it was not her but something else that made her fail. Does this give her a false sense of reality? The idea that we should teach our kids to not be in competition with the kid down the street, on the field or in the classroom is almost ludicrous. Our society pits us against each other in so may ways in the name of entertainment, in business, in just getting ahead of or at least keeping up with the family down on the corner and their 3500 square foot house.
And yet… competition and competing is good. To better oneself and to come out stronger and wiser regardless of the real outcome. We should strive to be better than we were yesterday, even if it is only a little, that should be our goal. To paraphrase Matthew McConaughey, we need to have someone to chase and that someone should be ourselves ten years from now. We will never catch them but that is okay, it pushes us to be better and see a future that is both exciting and challenging. Sometime good enough is good enough. You can watch the short video of his 2014 Oscar acceptance speech below.
Another poem in response to Shawn L. Bird’sPoetic Diversity Projectprompt for her Masters class. For March 8th she has asked for us to please share poetry or observations about the challenges and/or joys of sharing a space with others and link it in the comments on Shawn’s blog. Here is my contribution:
Here we sit, in our little house. I’m trying to think as the ideas come and go. The light glares from the screen and I hope the story will unfold. Then I hear the excited screams of your laughter, from the other room.
“I can hear you!” My thoughts are derailed. This novel will not write itself!
Then silence, and it makes me think. “What in the world is going on now?”
The words are fleeting, the moments too few. Our house is filled with joy. And too soon you’ll be gone, so laugh and scream to your heart’s content. I would not ever trade being your daddy or have it any other way.
Poetry, music, creative writing and a desire to inspire.....Isaiah 41:10: So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.