I watched my daughter climbing up the rock wall on the back of our swingset a couple of days ago. She has gotten fairly good at it, but it takes a few tries and she sometimes falls a couple of times before she is able to hoist herself all the way up.
“Mama watch this!” she said as she put one foot at a time on a foothold. She got stuck, not sure what her next move should be, and I reminded her to move her arms up the rope to help pull herself up for the next step. She slipped, and determined to make it to the top, started back up from the ground. Two more tries and she was up in the clubhouse.
I hope she never loses that persistence. That sense of determination she has is something I’m so proud of. Sometimes it comes across as defiance; when she wants to finish coloring her picture just perfectly even though it’s bathtime, for example. But if I really think about it, I never want her to lose it.
There will be so many challenges in her life, that I want to find a way to keep encouraging her to try and try again. That desire to succeed, to make it, to accomplish something she sets her mind to is SO important, I think, especially for young girls. I never want her to think she can’t do something because of her gender. I’m not sure if the current climate has me thinking more about this, or just the fact that I have a young girl now.
So I’ll have to remember that, the next time she is trying to get a stubborn zipper up by herself and I’m standing by the door keys in hand rushing her out the door…I should stop to recognize her persistence when she succeeds. Persistence and determination will get her a lot farther in life than simply hurrying to the next thing on our list.