Every now and then, when I am with my kids, something happens that I know I will remember forever. That little voice, in the back of my head, says, “this is one of those moments that I don’t ever want to forget.” I pay close attention, and try to name what it feels like, so it will be imprinted on my mind permanently.
It happened earlier today, when our kindergartner, who we affectionately call Luli, hopped on her brand new pogo stick for the first time.
It was a gift from us to her; a surprise for her sixth birthday.
She was so excited when she opened it. She really really loved it! Couldn’t wait to try it out.
Luli strapped on her pink Barbie helmet, as I took the pogo stick out of the box. It was a sparkly tuquoise color, and the box said it would light up when she jumped.
She proudly carried it out the back door, and down to the grassy yard. We all followed, anxious to watch the birthday girl her bounce around on her new toy.
She held it in front of her, and paused for a moment. My mind was telling me that I should hold her up and tell her how to pogo. But my heart spoke louder. Don’t say a word, Amber. Let her figure it out on her own.
And then, Luli lifted one foot to the pogo. She cautiously lifted the other…and then she and her pink Barbie helmet tumbled to the ground. Reality set in: pogoing would not come easy.
With determination, Luli tried again, first one foot up, and then the other, and then the crash.
I sucked in my breath, and said a prayer. It was really loud in my head.
Please God, let her try again. And again. And again, until she finds her balance. Because when she does, she will be really proud of herself.
Without missing a beat, Luli hopped back on the stick. It took at least a dozen tries, before she was able to take a full hop on her pogo. When she started to get discouraged, I calmly offered help. I didn’t do much–just lightly held her by the waist–but it was the assist she needed to find her balance.
All of a sudden, it clicked, and Luli was bouncing like Tigger across our backyard. With a big fat Cheshire Cat grin on her face.
She was ecstatic! Blissful! And really proud of herself. I thanked God, and tried really hard to imprint that moment on my brain. It felt like magic.
Luli spent the rest of the afternoon on her new shiny pogo stick. It was 85 degrees, and at least 85% humidity, but she didn’t care. She just kept on pogoing.
Within the first half hour, Luli improved so much, that she could pogo eight times before losing her balance. She figured out that if she reaches her seat back, and her chest forward, her balance is better, and she could get into a ryhthm. She pogoed for almost two hours, stopping only to catch her breath, and drink some water.
By the time I called her for dinner, Luli was red-faced, and drenched in sweat, but she didn’t care. She had pogoed 24 times before falling off the stick.
It was an amazing transformation. I wished my friends had been there to watch. And my clients. And everyone who reads this blog.
Because Luli’s pogo lesson is, at it’s core, a lesson for all of us: trust the struggles, because we are capable of more than we think. And what we really, truly want, is waiting for us on the other side.