Gosh, I feel like I could do an entire series about the stuff my daughter has taught me. Some people say our kids are our greatest teachers and I have to wholeheartedly agree.
Two weekends ago I brought my daughter (Lills) to Pumpkintown in East Hampton. I had actually passed it on the way to a playdate with my friend Katie and as we passed Lills was so excited to see all the pumpkins that I knew I needed to make a trip back. So when I was looking for something to do over the weekend it was a no-brainer.
When we arrived, she loved it immediately. She’s shy to warm up to things but once she does you can’t get her to leave. We had so much fun walking around and looking at all the different pumpkin characters they have. She got her face painted and I bought her this cute pumpkin cup with a silly straw (as she calls it) that was full of yummy apple cider. We were having a great time!
And then she saw an enormous pumpkin bounce house and we stood outside of it watching some of the bigger kids go in. I knew right away I wasn’t comfortable letting her climb inside. Some of the kids seems really rough and were doing all sorts of crazy jumps. Those bounce houses can be intense people!
So when she said “mommy can I go in?” I immediately said, “no, I don’t think so sweetheart, it looks too rough.” She looked right into my eyes and said, “OK mommy, but can I just try?”
I couldn’t help but smile.
Here I was, being perhaps a bit overprotective trying to keep her from bounce house harm, and this wise little lady encouraged me to at least let her give it a go. And so I said yes.
The staff at Pumpkintown asked all the other kids to be more gentle while she was taking her turn and to my delight (and surprise) they were careful around her. She got knocked down once but got right back up and as I nervously watched her from the bounce house window, I couldn’t help but reflect on the lesson she was teaching me. Sometimes I need to be less nervous about allowing her to do things and just let her try.
I’m sure that’s a lesson I will struggle with at different times during parenthood but in this case, it had the best possible outcome – a happy, confident toddler who was given a little bit more independence.