“I’m so stupid!’ she wailed as we were getting out of the car this morning.
She had forgotten her lunch.
I let her cry then held her face in my mommy hands, looked her in the eyes and told her, “You made a mistake. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s part of learning. I still make mistakes all the time. I don’t forget things very often but I am still learning to take care of myself and learning to find people who treat me kindly and make good decisions.”
She smiled and hugged me.
Then I told her, “Life gives us lots of experiences to make mistakes and grow. It’s hard enough to make the mistakes so try not to make it worse by beating yourself up, okay?”
“Okay,” she said quietly.
I came to the coffee shop to get a few things done and saw this quote which seems like an underscore to what had just happened:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ~Theodore Roosevelt
There are two reminders in one hour’s time for Ms. Kymberlee to just stay in it and keep going–to be both fiercely courageous with my life and tender with myself when I make epic mistakes (or just the every day kind). Heroes make mistakes; critics sit on the sidelines judging the heroes. I’ve been both and I gotta say the former is far more interesting.
I’m going to get a little work done then take a new lunch to my sweet daughter. Today is field day at her school so I’ll get to see lots of dusty faces, victories and defeats.
Here’s a song that always helps me keep going when I feel like folding or when my Inner Critic starts nitpicking at me: