Skate, skate, fall. Skate, fall, fall. Skate, skate, skate, fall.
Last Friday night, we celebrated my nephew's 8th birthday at the local skating rink, The United Skates of America. The roller rink brought back unpleasant memories of the late 1980's, George Michael music blaring as I struggled to stay upright and make it to the middle of the rink, which was blessedly carpeted and a desperately needed refuge from the slippery floor. My school used to have skating nights, and I longed to glide around the rink, effortlessly, maybe even holding hands with a cute boy. Never happened. I could not skate, therefore did not skate, therefore never got better at skating...therefore avoided skating for the last, um, 24 years.
Until now. My son, Alex, stood on wobbly legs, ready to try to skate. Nowadays, they sell these white walker type things with wheels that you can use to stabilize yourself, somewhat, as you skate. We got one for Alex and off he went. Skate, skate, fall. Skate, fall. Skate, skate, skate, fall.
If he fell once, he fell one hundred times.
The thing is, each time he fell, he got back up, with a smile. He kept going. He kept falling. He was a sweaty puddle, exhausted from the effort, but he didn't complain or get frustrated. He got up each time and tried again.
I was in awe.
It was amazing.
I didn't have that type of persistence when it came to learning how to skate. It was hard and I gave up. But watching my son fall, and fall, and fall over and over again, and get up with a smile, ready to try again....I felt so proud.
Never a big fan of the word "grit", it's honestly what came to mind as I watched him fall all night long, and get back up each and every time.
There are moments when you shine with pride, that a child of yours has done something especially kind, or smart, or witty, or impressive. For me, watching my son fall down over and over again...and get up, over and over again....it was a shining moment that showed who Alex is. My kid has grit. And I couldn't be prouder.