a lesson in falling

A few months ago, we ordered our son a piggy bank.
The kind with different sections for saving and spending and donating. We have been trying to teach him about money. And that he doesn’t need every thing he sees advertised on TV. (if I see the pillow pet commercial one more time I just might scream).
And he has been sticking his little coins and dollars in the slots and buying his own ice cream when the truck comes around. And he has been saving up.
For a skateboard.
Really, I have no idea where he got this idea. But he saw one at Academy about a month or so ago and wanted it. Bad.
Finally, he had the 10$ he needed. So we emptied out the piggy and went on our way.
He handed the sweet cashier his 10+ change. While dad waited behind him to spend twice that on a helmet. And I hoped our insurance coverage would be enough for whatever injuries might ensue.
And we got home, strapped on the helmet and tried the thing out. And I do mean we ( but I won’t be posting any of those pictures J )
It wasn’t quite as stable as he thought it would be and he was a little reluctant to get both feet on. But eventually he did. And about 2 seconds later it all came tumbling down.
Knees and wrists on the pavement. There was no blood. But, it looked like it hurt. I tried to assure him that falling was a part of riding a skateboard. And this would be the first of many. And the fists went up towards his eyes and tears started to come.
He eventually made it back on his feet and started to walk back inside, while trying to rip off his helmet.

"Oh no. You did not just spend your life savings on something you are going to fall off of once and give up. Get back on that board, kid."

Not that I want to encourage skateboarding or more skinned knees. But I do not want to encourage quitting.
My kid needs to learn to fall. And most importantly to get back up. To keep trying.
Because life is full of falling. And not everyone learns how to get back up. For some people this comes naturally. My husband likes to call it stubborn.
For others. Like my son. It is something he needs to learn how to do. The falling will come naturally, but the getting back up will take some practice. Even if it means lots of skinned knees and elbows in the process.

Still crying. He even more hesitantly, put one foot back on the board. Pushed a little ways and tried with both feet. This time he stayed on. For a few seconds at least.
And it is doubtful that my son will be the next Tony Hawk. Actually, I hope he isn’t. I’d like to keep his bones in one piece for as long as possible. But I’m proud of any kid who can fall. And get back up.
Especially mine. Even if there are tears. Maybe even especially if there are tears involved.
(and yes, I checked. We have plenty of band aids on hand).

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samskat said...

I love the pictures that you get of your kids! These look like ads for a magazine! (And just wait til he's got the dog pulling him on a skateboard...my brother did that!)

Kate said...

We're working on persistance here too. And thinking before we spend those few precious dollars she has.
The best lesson you can give your child is how to fall and get back up. Especially when the tears are falling.

Hyacynth said...

Oh, that I could be a dilligent in getting back up as your little guy.
And if he did turn into Tony Hawk that might be good ... I bet Tony Hawk doesn't fall all that much and break things anymore. ;)

Corinne said...

He is just too cute :)
And better to start the lessons now...

Stacia said...

Flash back, oh, 20 years or so and this is me and roller blades. Hope your little guy gets the hang of it!

PS: Do I see a Red Raider fan in your household??

michelle said...

stacia...me and my husband both graduated from Tech.2000 and 2001. You?
Maybe we know each other in real life!

Margie said...

I really love this post - for the way you parent, for the lessons your son is learning. It's what I want to teach my girls: that it's in the practice, the trying again and again, that we learn how to do. I wish my mother had taught me that. Because I give up. At the first sign of failure.