February 8, 2011 at 5:00 am | Posted in Mama Bear, milestones | 17 Comments

O is a physically cautious kid.

One of those kind that looks before he leaps.

Or climbs.

Or jumps.

You get the picture, right?

I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been on a playground and he stands at the bottom of a slide, watching each and every child slide down.

How he’ll touch the slide first, to get an idea of the texture.

You can almost see the gears turning in his head.

Will I go fast? Or slow? Is it going to ZAP me? The slide is a little cold, will that slow me down? Or make me go fast? How high will it feel when I’m up there? Will I fall down at the end? Will I get hurt?

And often, he’ll go up to the top to take his turn, then balk at the top. He’ll back away and let another kid take his turn, or come back down the ladder, or play at the top like he wasn’t even PLANNING on sliding down anyway.

So when we were at Monkey Joe’s on Saturday and he again attempted the REALLY BIG slide, I knew it was a big deal.

It was one of those slides where, at the end, there were about 25-30 blocks which acted like “stairs.” It was about 500 feet high.

(Okay, maybe not 500. Maybe just 250.)

He had tried it the weekend before, his first time there, but never managed to get very far up and instead wanted to be lifted out.

Which, you know, I gladly did. Because there were A TON of big kids there, and I worry about my little guy on a tall ladder with zillion other big kids mauling him pushing him climbing over him.

This time, though – he went for it.

And strangely, there were NO other children around.

Now. I may be overprotective of my kid in my own head, but if he attempts something, I damn well better give him my best cheerleader impersonation. Because he IS a cautious kid, and I like to see him take a risk here and there.

It took him a long time.

And I stood at the bottom, cheering him on. Everytime he looked at me, I said Go, O! You can DO IT, kiddo!

And there was a scary moment when he was nearing the top where you could tell he was getting tired and wasn’t sure where to put his hands so that he could make it up to the very top.

He started crying – his fear cry.

The cry where, as Mama Bear, I wanted to rush up and grab him, and tell him it was okay.

But I didn’t. I stayed at the bottom, watching him struggle, the fear on his face evident.

And I cheeered. Go, O!!! You can DO IT, KIDDO!!! You’re nearly there – you can do it, I KNOW IT!

And damned if my kid didn’t finally make it to the top.

And when he slid down the other side, and I ran around to see him, he had SUCH a look on his face.


He was so damned proud of himself.

I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of ANYONE in my whole life. I could have CRIED from the sheer happiness I felt.

YOU DID IT!!! I yelled. You did it all by yourself!!!

And I grabbed him into a big bear hug. And kissed his soft cheek, and whirled him around. And he giggled and grabbed the back of my neck in a hug.

That moment.

All the pain it took to bring him home to us in the first place.

It is absolutely worth it.



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  1. Well done, O! PB is similar. But he has also been attempting a few new things lately, and it does make you proud to see them overcome their fear. Although I am also sometimes glad for his caution!


  2. I so love this, Serenity … you capture childhood triumph perfectly here. go, O!

  3. Beautiful post. I totally teared up reading it. We are so proud of our little ones…I can only imagine it will grow as we watch them struggle and overcome bigger challenges in their life.

  4. YAY O! Oh my goodness, how wonderful to be there and encourage him to do that?! Amazing! Good job O! (And well done Serenity for not doing the Mama Bear thing and whisking him out of ‘harm’s way’!) Congratulations to you both on such a HUGE accomplishment! WOOT! *wipes tears of joy*

  5. Way to go! My kid is also a cautious kid. She comes by it honestly from me. I am SO cautious. So, I like that she is too, I don’t fear she will climb to the top of a ladder and throw herself off, just for fun. But I too have to keep on cheering and encouraging when she does want to try something new because it takes a lot for her to do that. At 3 1/2 she is still scared of swings. She watches other kids and asks for a turn, and within 30 seconds she is terrified and wants off. So congratulations to O! That is awesome that he was able to push past his fear and slide down that slide. That is great. And I’m so happy for you that you have these moments that make the bad ones worth it.

  6. Hooray for O! And well done you for holding back and letting him work through his fear! Wonderful post.

  7. I think this is (part of) the answer to your question a few days ago about what to do when you’re depressed. That sounds like a really fun place (I checked their website; there isn’t one near me 😦 ), and it is so fun to watch kids growing up and learning new things. Yay O!

  8. I love this post. Way to go, O.! I’m looking forward to taking the girls to M.onkey J.oe’s soon… when I’m ready. I. loves to go on the big slide at the playground. I love her “so proud” expression. These moments do make everything worthwhile.

  9. oh that made my heart just open up….because Jacob is exactly the same, but he still won’t go on anything. I am so glad that O did it..and was so proud of himself. He should be. YOU GO LITTLE MAN!!!!!

  10. Aren´t those moments amazing?

    ….You said it right, no matter how tough and how long it took you to have him because in the end IT IS WORTH IT!

    From what I perceive in your posts you really want a sibbling for O, pleaaaase don’t let the fear and crazyness of it all get to you. When you feel it is hard to keep going close your eyes and picture O saying to you: Go Mama, I know you can do it!

    Let yourself grief, embrace the emotions because you have the right to feel them but don’t let them drain the courage you have inside!… YOU CAN DO IT!


  11. Yep. That was me at Elmo a couple weekends ago. Jammed in a theater with a bunch of other parents watching Sesame Street live, I was crying.

    It’s so hard to let them just do it sometimes. Cam gets this looks of such satisfaction when he does anything himself. ME! Mama, ME do it. Yep, ok buddy – you do it.

  12. I cried proud tears as I read this, which was really inconvenient as I was in a conference room waiting for a meeting to start. (I was the one starting it!)

    Love this post – LOVE IT!

  13. Love this. I remember this moment with my boy. Thank you for bringing it back to me today. Sometimes what we really need is to know EXACTLY why we are working so hard. It is worth it. It really is.

  14. All I can say is perfect. You explain the feeling perfectly. I hope you don’t mind I post a link on my FB.

  15. My gosh…there is NOTHING greater than when a child feels proud of themselves.

    Way to go O!!!

  16. Hooray O! Beautiful post.

  17. Love every single word of this story. He is so lucky to have you as his cheering squad.

    Thanks for the comment on my fertilization report. Your comment helped immensely for me to just take the news as information and not get worked up about it needlessly.

    Thanks for the support.

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