Last night my seven year old got home from ballet, looked at me dead on and told me she absolutely had to learn how to tie a bow. I asked if we could have dinner first. She shook her head no and said it couldn't wait. Apparently, one of her friends, who happens to be younger than her, noticed that she couldn't tie her shoes and made a point to ask her why. Really, all she had to say to her friend was that she typically wears vans, crocs, flip flops or boots, so, up until this point in her life, she hadn't really needed to figure it out. But, she didn't think of that response at the time and instead walked away frustrated and embarrassed. So, I turned off the water on the stove, grabbed my running shoes and sat down on the floor next to her. I then proceeded to give her step by step instructions on how to tie a bow, which is much harder than I thought it would be. We tried the two rabbit ears and that didn't work so we went on to the the snake going around the hill and through the hole (or some version of that). After about thirty tries, she finally go it. To her credit, she never lost her cool. She kept at it, over and over and over again until it finally made sense to her. When she sat back and looked at her first bow, she stared in total disbelief. To be sure it wasn't a fluke, she started over and tied it again. Success. YES! That night, she went to bed with one of my sneakers because, she told me, if she woke up early she wanted to keep practicing. Totally made sense. At 10:00pm she was still awake, giddy with excitement and unable to sleep. I finally told her she had to call it a night but smiled as I walked away as her excitement was almost tangible. Conquering this small task was one of her biggest accomplishments to date. As a mom, a coach and a runner, it was one of the greatest lessons in determination, persistence and patience that I have witnessed in my life. Later than night I read the following quote by runner and writer, Amby Burfoot, "Running teaches all of us that goal setting, persistence and tackling one mile at a time can lead to unimaginable achievements." Running, definitely...among so many other things.
Listen to this: In the Summer - Crystal Fighters
NOTE: I was told not to move the shoe from her bed as she wanted to see it when she got home. Today, I bought her a pair of shoes with laces.