Alicia Anthony

Suspense with a Twist

Blog-o-Rama, Day 18: Want

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I felt myself becoming one of those moms today. You know the ones, the moms who nag at their children at sporting events as the child puts forth as much effort as she can muster. Yeah. That was me today at Jillian’s swim lesson. And I’m far from proud of my behavior.

Okay, so what does this have to do with today’s prompt? You see, my biggest want is for Jillian to be able to experience success… at something… anything. Jillian has struggled and been behind her peers in virtually every area of life. School is difficult for her, although she’s made huge strides in the past couple years, we still have a long way to go. She was never quite coordinated enough for cheerleading or gymnastics or dance. Horseback riding lessons went well, but there’s a fear factor there that I’m not sure we’ll be able to conquer. Last year she was going to show a rabbit in 4H. We practiced and practiced the information she had to memorize for the interview portion of her grade, needless to say, she ended up not showing the rabbit.

Right now, Jillian loves to swim. This is the same girl who screamed bloody murder when I took her to her first Mommy and me swim lesson when she was about two years old. I never thought I’d be sitting the sidelines at swim lessons, gearing up for her second season of swim team.

Which brings me to today’s breech of etiquette. Jillian was definitely off her game today. Her strokes were short and choppy, her rotational breathing was non-existent, and she was having serious trouble following simple directions from her instructor. Now, Jillian always struggles with directions. They have to be repeated several times and even then she sometimes gets them wrong, but today was different. Today I watched the other kids in her lesson group show her up time and time again on skill after skill.

Swim is her thing!

I just couldn’t take it.

So, is it too much to ask that my child be successful at something? I want her to be able to feel the pride that accompanies a job well done. The excitement at earning a ribbon or hearing praise from others for something you’ve done is a precious gift that I want her to experience. But beyond that, I want her to know she’s perfect, no matter what challenges await her. I want her to believe in herself.

Is that too much to ask?

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4 Comments

  1. It’s absolutely not too much to ask, and one of the most difficult battles of parenting (at least for me) is the inability to fight our children’s battles for them. And at times we make mistakes in trying to strike that balance of stepping in and holding back. My hope is that my children come to understand that it comes from the profound depth of love I have for them. (And ask for Grace to cover the rest.)

    • I think I’m going to need a great deal of Grace, my friend! I do hope she is able to understand that I only nag out of love, but I’m sure that realization will take a while (I was a parent before I came to that realization about my own mother). Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone!

  2. Barbara Charles

    Wow! No wonder Madalyn and Jillian get along so well – I could’ve written this post about Maddy! I have Olivia – who is outgoing, confident, athletic and a joy to be around. And I have Maddy who does well in school, but things are a little harder for her. We also have given up on the horses with her and you know how much that breaks my heart! I was sure that would be her “thing” since it was mine – but she also has a fear factor that she just can’t conquer. She loves basketball, but once again it is a struggle for her. I just want her to find that one good thing she can excel in, that can be her passion! My heart breaks for her, just as yours does for Jillian. I have recently found an explanation for why following directions is so hard for Maddy – a delay in executive functioning. It explains a lot and if you want more information, let me know! I am headed to a conference on Thursday about it. I worry about Maddy going into Middle School next year.

    • Oh, Middle School has me terrified! I would love to hear more about the executive functioning piece. I’m not familiar with that. Thanks south for your pat, Barbara! It’s so nice to know I’m not alone!!

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