Friday, June 29, 2007
Try Try Again
We have the most gracious friends and neighbors who invite us to go boating on a regular basis. Our summer so far has been a bit chaotic, but when Heather called with the promise of a few peaceful hours on Deer Creek, I knew I needed to go. She told me how being on the water would heal me, and for once I set aside my to do list, my stubborn schedule.
Bud wasted no time getting everyone in the water to ski or wakeboard. I could see the nerves growing in Cole's eyes. My usual gregarious little charmer became quiet and subdued. He was adamant about not trying to wake board. Unfortunately, he inherited his mother's stubbornness and the more we tried to cajole him, the deeper he dug in. When I questioned him why he didn't want to try he said "It's too hard."
I have seen this before in Cole. He is a bit of a perfectionist, like his dad, and is hesitant to try new things if he feels he will fail. Mostly this behavior manifests itself in his school work and oft times I have to push him to stretch himself. He is so bright, so capable, so full of ability and potential, but his comfort zone is oh so comfortable. He can easily coast along in many areas without much effort, so when an opportunity comes along to really have to apply himself, he hesitates. If it doesn't come easy, then why bother?
This drives the momma in me CRAZY. I see the big picture, I see the opportunities that are just outside his grasp if he would just try. I see the success he would have, I see the satisfaction he would feel in making the attempt. Mostly, I see a smart, talented, delightful young boy with the world at his fingertips.
So I did what I do with my kids when reasoning won't work. I bribed him. That's right, I bribe my kids on occasion. Because when all else fails, this one still works. The deal was brokered and Cole was in the water in ten seconds flat.
And guess what? Success was his almost instantaneously. I think he was completely wakeboarding on his own on his second attempt. So he's a winner on both accounts...he accomplished something he was afraid of and he gets to knock one book off of his summer reading list. But I'm a winner too. I loved seeing the joy in his demeanor, I enjoyed the confidence in his swagger the rest of the afternoon, and maybe, just maybe, I taught him that stepping outside of his comfort zone is worth the risk.