Who has nerve? My four year old! The other night while I was busy nursing Shira before bed, Alyce, who wasn't happy with my turning down her request for more snack, let herself out of the apartment and asked our upstairs neighbour to get her one. As in: she unlocked our door, climbed the stairs in her footy pajamas with the cats on the feet, and told Peggy an elaborate story about how she couldn't find her Papa (who was working) and how she was so very hungry. She had forgotten to mention that I was home and had already said no. I discovered the two of them in our kitchen, Peggy washing strawberries for my Alyce, who was evidently wasting away in hunger. Seriously.
But I wasn't upset with Alyce, though we did review all the reasons one ought to disturb the neighbours, needing an extra snack not being one of them. If I can confess something to you, I was a bit jealous. This girl of mine has so much courage! Lately I have tended to let things stand in my way (though if we're being friends here, very little stands in the way between me and a good snack). I've written before about having lost my sparkle (here and here), of wanting to feel vibrant again. To feel vibrant I need to make some changes in my life, both big and small, and very slowly I'm working on these. What I discovered recently, however, is that in order to feel vibrant again I needed some courage. Confidence, pride, energy, call it what you will, sometimes I think it is courage that I need. I want that courage displayed by children who celebrate this big, beautiful world that seems was made just for them, the courage I seemed to have lost as I've gotten older.
I'm working on it, specifically in an online course I'm taking from Andrea at Superhero Life called Cultivating Courage. Upon entering the class we had to answer the question: if I were the bravest possible version of myself I would... Here is my answer, you know, since we're friends:
I would wake up and (most days!) feel powerful. I wouldn't be afraid of making another mistake and would instead encourage myself to make new mistakes and learn and live in the world. I would see possibility instead of failure. I would listen to the counsel of my friends and family but make the decisions I thought were best. I would start listening to myself. I would take less comfort in the ordinary. I would trust myself .The details of the course are something I would like to keep for myself, but I will let you in on a few of the results: I have spoken more directly with friends, I have found a writing partner, and I attended a rather frightening parent council meeting at my daughter's new school (these are some serious school parents). All in one week! Next up? Skydiving.