The Easter/ Spring vacation is over. It was rainy and cold, yet so active.
I’m taking a break from reading heavy books. Books are my friends and they speak the Truth, they chisel my mind and better my actions, they confront me and they hold my hand. But enough is enough. I decided to go easy on life and be silly a while.
I was peeling potatoes the other day. Jackie comes to me and asks: “will you play with me?” I was deep in thought and answered:”no, thank you.” She sat there a while, then leaned on my back, hugging my neck, giggled and said: “I have an idea. I would like you to say *I’ll play with you in 5 minutes, after I peel the potatoes. – Can you say that instead please?” She made me laugh. “Is this what you would like me to say instead?” – “Yep!” 😀
From us, she learned about alternative solutions, and she learned about teaching me how to respond verbatim… just in case I don’t know what she wants or needs from me. I agreed. There is always enough time to play, even if it’s 5 minutes of leaving any burden at the door, pulling my sleeves up and sitting on the floor creating scenarios and building with legos.
Jackie is using a hand-me-down bike from her much older cousin. The training wheels are useless because they slide back. She barely rode the bike this past year. Just enough to get her legs familiar with the concept of pedaling forward.
A few weeks ago I told her I’ll teach her how to ride the bike without the training wheels. She didn’t want to. I didn’t push. One day she decided it’s time. I brought the bike out and it only took two runs, with me holding the back of her seat. She kept shouting: “let me go! I’ll be fine!” That is a memorable proud moment for me. To this day I remember the neighbor friend (Sabina was one year older than me) who held my seat as I pedaled down the road on her bike.
This encapsulates our relationship with Jackie, and what life is all about. She will do things when she is good and ready, on her own terms. And we only need to help her find her balance until she takes off, shouting joyously wind rushing through her hair: “I can do it! I’m doing it!” Between raindrops, she picked up her bike every day of this vacation, learning new tricks and riding. Riding with confidence.