The morning of the first day of school has come and gone. My house is quiet for the first time in two-and-a-half months and I have actually finished a cup of coffee in its entirety without having to reheat it twenty thousand times.
This morning I woke up extra early, and extra nervous. As I put the kiddos to sleep last night they both mentioned how nervous they were. As I went for my morning run I asked God to take away all of their nervousness and mine as well. I asked Him to replace those feelings with confidence. But then, I wondered: if confidence is given as a gift but not earned through hard work and believing in yourself through challenges, is it truly confidence? I decided no. So, I asked God if I could have a prayer redo.
I didn’t wish away the nervous. It wasn’t fair to short change my kiddos like that, so I asked for it back. I don’t want my kiddos to feel nervous, but I knew they had to walk through the feelings of nerves themselves rather than having them taken away. Dang it.
As I ran I realized empowerment grows from nervous feelings — or rather the overcoming of them. When those crazy kids of mine realize they can work through those feelings that makes them want to curl up in a ball and stay in bed, they will come out stronger and more self reliant. What right do I have to wish that away?
As a mom, this knowledge applies to me and my irrational helicopter mom nerves. If I can just stop my how-can-I-make-this-better-for-my-kids mindset and breathe my way through watching them handle their nervousness and fear it will help me see how strong they are, how prepared they are, how resourceful they are.
Life is hard, and I can’t hand them a “mom shield” every time they hurt or become fearful. If I am not careful my protection of them will leave them without defenses of their own. That would be the worst thing I could ever do for my children.
So, I prepared their breakfast and their lunches, (even though I swore to Daughter that being in high school meant she packs her own lunches…baby steps…), I remained calm, and when they spoke of their nervousness, I smiled and said ,“that is how you are supposed to feel. How can you overcome it and have an awesome day?”
Daughter said “Realize it is just fear talking and keep walking.” YES!!!
Son said “Play Minecraft.” Ummmmmm. Again, baby steps.
It is hard to let them just feel vulnerable, but letting them muddle their way through it will make them feel empowered, and as parents, that is what we want most. Empowered kids.