You Can Do Hard Things

This was it.  One of those parenting moments you read about in waiting room magazines. If I said the wrong thing, there could be scarring for life.  Okay, so not really scarring, but this was most definitely an important moment.

Let me back up…

The night before, I realized my kindergartner had brought home a magnet from school that did not belong to him.  It belonged to his teacher. This was new territory for me, but we did the tough talk about taking things that don’t belong to you and made a plan to return the magnet to his teacher the next morning. He was scared to tell his teacher (who is a very kind person by the way). He cried but was able to calm down before bedtime.

The next morning, my kiddo nervously mentioned the plan we’d made together a few times but made it to school with only a few tears.

But then…

As we walked the path to his kindergarten class, I could feel the tension building inside him, and in myself. Suddenly, the damn burst and he broke into sobs, begging me to take him home.  He pulled away, turning toward the direction of the car. “I’m scared” he wailed, over-sized tears rolling down his reddened cheeks. The look of fear in his eyes tore at my heart.

That was it.  That was the big moment when the world stopped turning for a breath and I knew I had to reach down deep for an answer.  An answer that would support him in becoming a secure, resilient person who could face fears without falling apart.  A better person, perhaps, that I have been in much of my life. I took a deep breath.

This is what I said…

“I know you’re scared.  It’s okay to be scared.  And I know that this is hard.  But here’s the thing…you can do hard things.  And I will be there with you the whole time.  Together we can do hard things.”

Did it stop his tears and make it all better?  No.  But I believe it helped him calm himself a little, and I like to think it gave him another piece of solid foundation toward a lifetime of doing things even when they are scary, and knowing that he has the resiliency to get through them.

Since that day, I have thought back on those words and realized…

That advice applies to my life.

And to yours.

Perhaps it’s when we have to dig deep for someone we love more than ourselves that an authentic truth is more easily revealed.  Or maybe it’s revealed in a way that feels more REAL, more personal.  Since then I’ve been reminding myself more often of that authentic truth. That it’s okay to be afraid.  That I can do hard things, and that my God, family, and tribe of friends are always with me.

So to all you amazing women: That thing that you’re afraid of?  I know you’re scared.  It’s okay to be scared.  And I know that this is hard.  But here’s the thing…you can do hard things. Together, we women can do hard things.

– Kristen Rodgers

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