Lessons From A Four-Year-Old

Hanging with my 4-year-old daughter at the park this week gave me a great lesson in life.

I put her on the swing and started to push her. “No, Mommy!” she screamed, and hopped down.

“What?” I asked, startled. Was the seat too hot?

“No, not like that,” she said, hopping back on the seat.

I started to push her once more.

“Mom, no,” she said again. She turned to look at me. “I don’t want to go low. I want to go higher.”

I’ll push you higher,” I said, not understanding what she was getting at.

She turned around, satisfied, but then again when I started to push her, she got upset. “Mommy, I want you to push me high like Daddy does.”

I finally understood her problem. She wanted to get on the swing and immediately start kissing the sky. She didn’t like the slow build-up of swinging gently at first, pumping her legs, gaining momentum. She just wanted to go high.

I explained to her that she needed to trust that I would push her high, but she had to start out slow. If I pushed her too hard too quickly, she’d get hurt. She nodded and seemed to understand.

Turns out, I need to follow my own advice.

This past Sunday, I collapsed onto my bed, after scrambling to turn in my last assignment of my summer statistics course.

I’m officially halfway done with my Masters program.

Halfway there.

It seems like such a milestone, but at the same time, graduation still seems so far away.

When I say statistics kicked my a$$, I mean it really put a beatdown on my soul. I was having nightmares about that class—nightmares, y’all. As in, I couldn’t escape from the class in my dreams. Ugh.

Couple that class with my new workload and the fact that I am still without a babysitter and I damn near fell apart. Because this? The wearing of the multiple hats at the same time? It was kicking my tail.

And I know you can relate. Going to school — or doing anything really when you have kids — is no joke.

The only thing I can do on days when I feel like giving up: Close my eyes. Breathe. Dive into my bed. Pull the covers over my head and go to sleep. The next day, approach life as a clean slate. Do what I can do and let the rest go.

Sometimes your goals look like mountains. Mountains that you weren’t really meant to climb. Mountains that are so steep, so dangerous that it makes more sense for you to just shrug and say, “Oh, well, at least I tried.”

But how do people climb mountains? They don’t leap their way up the mountain. They take one step at a time. That’s the way to get through anything.

It’s like I told my daughter. If I push myself too hard too fast, I could get hurt. I have to start out slow, get into a rhythm, build momentum. Then I can kiss the sky.



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