No pictures to accompany this post. I took the kids to a roller rink today...4 kids that have never been roller skating + one toddler in a stroller + only one mom = no time for the camera! Anyway, that's not the point. I just want to tell a tale of perseverance.
Like I mentioned, none of the kids had been skating before and they thought that it would be no big deal...slap on the skates and let's go. Not so much! At the rink, they had these walker type things that the kids could use to help steady themselves. I was so impressed by my little James (3yo), I was nearly brought to tears. He got out there (while my older 3 whined a bit about it being too hard!) and for about an hour he skated with his "skate mate." He kept falling down, crying, getting back up, wiping away the tears and continuing to skate. I can't even tell you how many times he fell down, but it was a lot. He wouldn't let me help him up, he wouldn't take a break. He just kept going and going. It was almost heartbreaking. I'd never witnessed such tenacity before and I was amazed. After a while he'd finally had enough and let one of the refs (if that's what you call them) help him off the floor. He came off the floor with tears stained cheeks. When he was up and moving, he was so happy that I guess it made all the falling down worth it. He even kept asking me all evening when we were going roller skating again.
The lesson is obvious here...Keep trying no matter how many times you fall down. I am rereading Anne of Green Gables with Grace and just last night I read a quote from Anne that said "Next to trying and winning, the best thing is trying and failing." She was referring to the fact that she had done her best in school to try to win a scholarship. It was the eve of the final exams and she just couldn't worry over them anymore. Like Anne and James, we just need to keep trying and doing our best (or sometimes good enough!) and even if we don't succeed, there is value in the effort. And if we keep at it, we cannot fail, no matter the outcome. I love the quote from President Monson that says, "Sometimes courage is that little voice at the end of the day that says, 'I'll try again tomorrow.'" I have lots of those days as a mother to many small children (and some not so small!) It is just important to keep at it. I'm grateful to my little sweet boy for reminding me of that today.