Monday, March 16, 2015

Hey Y'all, Watch This!

One of the many things I learned since starting a personal blog is that some of the smallest things in your day can turn itself into a blog post. I'm not saying that they all turn into good blog posts....just that they somehow snowball into a mass of words that just need to be written. I realized how silly it may seem to someone else when my wife asked me why I wrote "Wow end ow" on a piece of paper on the kitchen counter. If a normal person had written that note, people might scratch their head and wonder if they still had all their marbles. My wife has gotten used to my strange little notes though. It didn't even phase her that I had a "cryptic message" scrawled on a piece of paper. She was more interested in how I was going to turn that into a blog. Well, here it is:
As my daughter was drying off after her bath tonight, she saw the word "Wow" printed on a magazine and commented that "wow ends in ow." As a kindergartner learning to read, she enjoys pointing things out like that. My brain on the other hand (at least a 6th or 7th grade level) started thinking about this past weekend and generating a post in my head.

This same daughter learned how to ride her bike without training wheels this weekend. She was almost as excited about it as I was. I know part of her not learning to lose the training wheels last year was in part due to limited practice time, but more because of fear. She couldn't get the thought that the "wow" of learning to ride a bike might involve an "ow" or two. Her brain was so focused on "wow ends in ow" that she was keeping herself from really trying.

The real problem was that she wouldn't fall over or crash. She was so scared of getting hurt that she would stop (give up) at the first second she got a little wobbly. That of course means she just has to start again with the same fear that she might fall and get hurt. (For the record, riding a bike for 5-6 feet at a time isn't an ideal learning situation.) Anyway, since I didn't want anyone to see me push her over and make her crash, I had to wait until she did it all on her own. That moment finally happened, she saw it wasn't so bad, and she got right back on the bike. That made me more proud than actually seeing her ride her bike on her own five minutes later.

The moral of this little story is to focus on the wow rather than being afraid of the ow. I won't bore you with a list of every day examples where adults do the same thing because I'm sure you can think of a half dozen right off the top of your head. Unfortunately, in real life it's not "like riding a bike" where you never forget, We forget over and over and over....constantly being afraid of the mistake or accident rather than the thrill or joy of not falling (or failing).

Next weekend, I'm going to teach her a new phrase. It's one that I heard often back in my home state of Texas. I'm getting her used to the idea of this new phrase by showing her YouTube videos of people riding wheelies and getting some great air off of rickety homemade ramps. By next Sunday afternoon, she ought to be hollering, "Hey y'all, watch this!" Until next time.....

(Disclaimer: "Hey y'all, watch this" is typically followed by something much worse than "ow", so use it at your own risk. )