A Lesson in Resilience From My Toddler

Today I took my toddler to a playground. She is so strong-willed and feisty, which has its delights and challenges. After maybe 30 minutes of thrilling climbing, my child tripped on the cross bridge and fell about 3 feet down to the foam floor. She made a nice thud upon impact. I ran over, scooped her up, and could see small lines of red quickly welling in the ridge of her lip. She sobbed, and, as usual, I checked her body for any major injuries. She wouldn’t let me get a close look though. She continued to squirm. I put her back down, and she was back on her feet. She was still crying, but the bust lip seemed to have already clotted.

Still in tears, she headed back towards the steps to take her right back to the place that began the pain. She found the stairs and started climbing again. She got back to the spot where she fell, approached it cautiously, and then continued past the difficult spot onward to the slide.

I was so proud of my baby. She fell hard, got hurt, and had the courage to go through the process again. She learned from her mistake the first time and was careful when she approached the uneven bridge. Before she even finished crying she was back at the place that caused her pain. And finally, she was successful the second time around.

I thought about preventing her second attempt. It was just too advanced a playground for her. I needed to protect her. However, I decided to keep my mouth shut. I encouraged her to try again, and she succeeded beautifully.

What a brave little girl. My wish for her is she doesn’t lose that resilient edge. May she always face her adversaries with such courage and quick action. She showed me how quickly she could get up after a fall.

If I’ve learned anything from being a parent, it’s that we are all born happy with boundless love. Those adults that live the opposite unfortunately had something or someone happen to them that caused them, consciously or otherwise, to lose that happiness and loving attitude. Looks like the same is true for courage. We are not born with fears and hesitations. These things are learned over time from our experiences with pain and fear.

We all at one time had no fear. Our environments taught us otherwise. Go back to the source. Be brave; be fearless; go ride that slide.

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