Imagine you are at the playground with your kid(s), and you look over to see someone else’s kid launching themselves off the tallest tower on the entire playground. You feel your heart stop for a second, you suck in a sharp breath. You think to yourself, or maybe you even say it out loud, “Oh my gosh!”
That kid—the one who is always finding the most dangerous way to do literally everything? That’s my kid. Truthfully, that’s both my kids, my youngest just isn’t tall enough to join in on the real danger yet.
My oldest is danger. She’s fierce, she’s determined, she goes full speed every single second she’s awake. So much so that her nickname is “danger mouse” (she’s quite petite, so it fits). She’s the one who makes other parents, teachers, and caregivers—at the playground, at school, at church, at gymnastics—hold their breath while I just stand back and watch her guts and her glory. She’s the kid who falls down (usually hard) and gets right back up and keeps going.
You see, I used to flinch when she did something outrageous, something insane, something dangerous, and then I heard someone say, “Let them do dangerous things, carefully.” And it changed my whole perspective.
I began to watch her leading up to her antics, I heard myself begin to tell her “pay attention” instead of “be careful.” I began to see her stop and process her next move before she followed through with her stunts (literally, they are stunts).
Once I stopped and really began watching her process her next moves, I realized that while she was absolutely doing dangerous things, she was doing them carefully, and by letting her figure out her next move (even though it made me so nervous), she was learning how to problem solve, how her body moves and works, and what she physically could and could not do.
My biggest girl is strong, she’s fast, she’s absolutely fearless, she’s my tiny adrenaline junkie—just like her daddy. We may scare people on the playground, we may get judgemental looks, and strange glances as we cheer her on. But my girl, my danger mouse, she’s got grit like no other and nothing stands in her way