She bounced on the balls of her feet, up and down, up and down, smiling the entire time, the kind of smile that shows teeth that aren’t normally seen. This was it. A moment she had been waiting for, and only the night before, had found out would be happening before she knew it would.
As her mom, I saw the mud. I knew how slippery it was. I knew there would be monkey bars, higher than she could grab, further from the ground than she was used to. I’ve done them, on this course, and I’ve seen people tumble.
I didn’t doubt her abilities, but I did have a tiny fear of what the course could do to her.
She could slip on the mud-covered rocks we had to scale. She could fall from a platform. Or land funny on the backside of a wall. Or trip weird climbing through the cargo nets.
Or, she could take off from the start line and own the course – leaving me, one of three adults running with her, with a view of her back the entire time.
She could just do that – exactly that. And she did. And it was one of the coolest things ever.
She tried every obstacle. She ran the entire course, not stopping to walk for anything, including a sip of water. And she beamed at the finish line, expressing her pride in herself out loud immediately after slipping her head inside the ribbon that held the medal she had earned.
These are the moments. The ones that show them they can do things, even on a moment’s notice, even if we as adults have fleeting thoughts about hazards. They’ll get it. She did, on her first try, which was so, so cool to see and do alongside her.