My Own Slice of Life on “I Can Do It”
My daughter has moved into a stage in her life where she believes that she can do it and by “it” she means everything and anything. She can put on her own shoes. She can take off her own socks. She can brush her own teeth. She can put lotion on all by herself. She can feed her brother a bottle. She can put her silverware in the sink. My favorite part of her telling me that she can do it is her enormous grin, sparkling eyes, and head bobbing up and down reassuring me that she is up for the task.
My brother-in-law gave her a balloon the other day. This balloon has a very short string. I knew it would happen. My husband knew it would happen. And it happened. That balloon string slipped right out of her hand and floated up to the ceiling. Not in her bedroom where I could stand on her bed and pull it down and not in the family room where I could stand on the couch and grab the string. Instead, she accidentally let go in the living room and the balloon drifted up to the highest point of the vaulted ceiling.
Each day we wait for the balloon to make its way back down to us. When we come home at the end of the work day, she runs up the stairs to check to see if her balloon is still there. And every day she smiles her biggest smile which causes her beautiful blue eyes to sparkle and she nods her head and says to me “I can do it.” She means that she can get her balloon down. She holds my hand and pulls me towards the scene. We both gaze up at the ceiling and she again reassures me that she can retrieve that balloon.
I’ve tried showing her that I can’t reach it, her dad can’t reach it, if I stand on a chair I can’t reach it, when I stand on a step stool I can’t reach it but she is convinced that if she just stands on the chair long enough she will be able to reach the balloon.
After spending lots of time as a spotter while she stands on a chair and stretches and reaches, the balloon is still up there. “Maybe tomorrow,” she tells me. I’m pretty sure that tomorrow she will smile, nod, and stand on the chair again.
My husband is ready to start throwing darts. I’m a little tired of this balloon situation too. But that face! That confidence! “I can do it.” That voice! I can’t burst her bubble or pop her balloon. I feel kind of proud of her. It’s silly. I know. But I’m just proud that she is confident and proud of herself. It means more to me than her understanding that her short arms will never reach that high. She has drive and ambition. It is part of who she is. She seems to have set her sights even higher. She will obtain the unobtainable. I’m confident that she will.