Fearless versus scared to death
You have two children. Both are incredibly smart. Both are so painfully cute. And both could not be more different. It goes way beyond the physical differences.
My 9-year-old (Jesse), has the Irish build of his grandfather. He is adorably stout with bright blue eyes and dirty blond hair. He is a little Einstein who has to be convinced to do something physical. He is reasonable and super sweet. You cannot convince him to go against his better judgement. Chuck, my 7-year-old, is a tiny, dark blue-eyed, powerhouse. He is a monkey who cannot stop moving. He has dark blond hair and he looks just like his German grandfather. He is super silly and completely stubborn! Nothing, I repeat, nothing, will stop him from doing something he wants to do.
At times their differences are fascinating and wonderful and at other times the differences are painful and heartbreaking. This couldn’t have been more obvious than this past weekend. Jesse and Chuck were determined to learn how to finally ride their bikes without training wheels. Jesse is an analytical boy and he approached the task like a scientist. He thought about the physics involved and the probability of falling. He measured the distance from the seat to the ground and determined that his legs were too short. After all things considered, he decided that it would be unsafe to try to ride training wheel-less at this time. When we tried to push him to try he declared the he couldn’t. He was scared to death.
While all this was going on, Chuck grabbed his bike, tried a couple of times (fell a couple of times) and then rode his bike down the street without training wheels. Before my husband and I realized what just happened, Chuck was riding along totally oblivious to the dangers of riding a bike in the street. Fearless!
I am overjoyed that Chuck is fearless and my heart breaks that Jesse is scared to death. What a happy medium would occur if they each could have a little bit of both – a healthy dose of caution but a fearless spirit.
As I watch Jesse study his brother as he rides down the street I realize that they each have a lot to teach each other. I remember how not too long ago Jesse taught Chuck how to read because it was something cool Jesse knew how to do and Chuck wanted to learn. The same thing will happen with riding a two-wheeler, but this time Chuck will be the teacher of something cool. That is fantastic and THAT makes me smile.
This wasn’t the first time something like this has happened and know it won’t be the last. When their differences cause some discomfort for either of them, I will remember this day. Hopefully, I will be wise enough to smile then too!
Entry filed under: Children.