Home > Parenting > Sore Muscles and a Happy Heart

Sore Muscles and a Happy Heart

Last night I physically pushed my daughter up to achieve her goals…

We were at the birthday party of my seven-year old Godson.  The party was held at one of those bounce places and had some bounce apparatus I had never seen before.  Among other cool structures they had a “spiderweb” that was a two-story series of elastic straps that form webs.  There were five or six level of webs that the kids had to climb up to get to the top in order to zoom down an inflatable slide.  And PS – this particular room was pitch dak except for black lights, a few laser lights and disco balls.

My three-year old wandered over to the spiderweb saw that this was the favorite of the big kids and jumped in line without hesitation.  (There was a long line because only four kids could be on it at once since kids, struggling to get to the top would often fall a level or two!)  I saw my son as he approached the halfway mark, he was struggling, but he did it, he’s always been able to defy gravity.  As I watched the other kids, I repeatedly tried to talk my daughter out of attempting this (I know, bad mommy).  My son finished and came over, stunned to see his sister in line.  He, being my conservative child, said “Mommy, you’re going to let Sissy do this?  I don’t think it’s a good idea.  It’s really hard!”  This certainly did not help my apprehension. 

As we approached the front of the line I asked the employee if there was an age limit, hoping she would rescue me from my fears.  Was I afraid my daughter would get hurt – no.  I was worried she would attempt it, not be able to do it and be frustrated, possible even cranky.  The wise 14 year-old employee said, “There is no age limit, but it will probably be pretty tough for her, you can go in and help her”.  Grrreeeaattt…  I watched as one of my girlfriends (who is stronger than me) tried to get her four-year old up and after a while, they came back down.  ‘What am I doing in this line?’ I thought!

Getting her up the first level was easy, I just lifted her up… and she sat on my head.  Then it got tricky, I was trying to climb up and push her up at the same time.  Fortunately, my son (who could likely beat my in arm wrestling) yelled, “Mom, climb up the side, it’s easier”.  We slowly started our climb.  Was I smart enough to figure out how to support my weight on the series of webs to help my daughter? No.  I took the old fashion, sheer tenacity route.  I would hold on to the netting wall with one hand while I hoisted my 38 pound “baby” girl with the other.  I’d then have her hold on to the side while I got my dead weight to the next level.  We were doing ok until she started to fall…

HER arms were getting tired, um, hi, what about your pack mule’s arms???  She slipped and fell through a level of webs.  I grabbed her and told her to hold still. (I needed time to run this physics problem in my non-math brain).  I realized that while heavy, she is narrow and could slip through the webs and potentially go straight down – at least 10 feet to the trampoline bottom.  Oh and she’s upside down so she was going head first!  Hello neck injury!  She was starting to panic, “Mommy, help me, I am falling”.  This may be what saved us, mommy adrenaline to the rescue.  My common sense told me we would be fine, these things were built for safety, right??  But my emotions were sounding the alarm – my daughter was upside down, in the dark, scared and every muscle in my body hurt (I may need to go see that Gym guy everyone talks about).  I was also afraid if she slipped, I might too and fall on top of her.  I said to her, “Sweetie, don’t worry, mommy is going to get us back down”.  HA! “No, Mommy, I want to go to the top, push me up!”  I wanted to cry, I wanted my husband, hell, I wanted my son, he probably could have saved us both!

But my daughter had a goal, and while she was scared, she was determined.  She inspired me, I dug deep, told myself our lives depended on it.  I got her flipped upright, I steadied her on the level above me and threw myself up like Shamu coming out of the water onto the ramp at a marine water show.  The higher I got the more I realized I didn’t want us to fall, so I clenched my teeth and up we went.

The top was like a dream.  The angels were singing, “Eye of the Tiger” was playing in my head again and when I looked down at the bottom of the slide, I could just make out the shocked and impressed faces of my husband and our friends.  As I pushed my daughter onto the platform, I romanticized us sliding down together in victory.  I yelled”wait for mommy” as I hoisted my tired body up onto the platform and looked just in time to see her bound down the slide… without me.

As I came down, I saw her high-fiving everyone.  I couldn’t wait to hear the “Thank you Mommy, we did it!” But by the time I got to the bottom, she was off to her next adventure without me.  When I asked her about it this morning, she was very blaze.  I said “wasn’t that hard?”.  Her response was, “No, can we do it again sometime?”  Ugh!

But isn’t that the essence of being a parent?  We push ourselves mentally, emotionally and physically to do the best for our kids.  We help them achieve their goals so they can grow to be independent and not need us anymore?

I would love to hear all of your stories on pushing yourselves to help your kids achieve their goals!

I know how this mama feels!

Categories: Parenting Tags: , , ,
  1. September 25, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    What a great story. It makes me think so much of my mom, knowing how much she did (and still does) for us and how I never realized or recognized it at the time. She somehow always made it feel like I accomplished things on my own. Only in hindsight can I see so clearly that she was always making it happen. You’re right, I think it is the essence of parenting. If I had known how much I needed her help I probably never would have gone on to accomplish much at all.

    • September 30, 2010 at 1:42 pm

      Just getting back from a business trip and catching up – so the secret is not tel them always know how much we’re pushing.

  2. September 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Wow – what an adventure! Bravo Mom you did a great thing for your little girl. I am “pushing” my daughter but it is to get her ready for college. Bittersweet for sure!

    • September 30, 2010 at 1:42 pm

      Paula, college is a big push that I definitely do not yet have the “stength” for, but as with everything els ein parenting, I will in time. Good luck!

  3. September 29, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Great post! Though your daughter sliding down without you might have stung…just remember that she never would have gotten to that point without you. You Momma, you made it happen.

    • September 30, 2010 at 1:46 pm

      Thank you! I just read your story about your husband on the bike, I love it!

  4. September 29, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    You go girl! What a great message and so true. We know we are doing our job really, really well when our child believes he/she does not need us. The details in motherhood amaze me: there is no pay, constant work, no vacation, rarely a “thank you” or “great job.” And at the end of the day, we trudge to bed and do it all over again. I had no idea how great my mom really was until I was older. I think that is why supporting other moms is so important today, rather than tear them down with judgements and “bad mommy” insults. Your daughter’s independence is truly a complement to what a great job you did!

    • September 30, 2010 at 1:53 pm

      Thanks Jennifer! I guess out thanks is seeing them go down the tall slide confident enough to run to the next big jumpy challenge!

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