I’d like to think that I’ve matured enough to move past having preconceptions about what my daughter can do. I was wrong.
Last night before bed, Namine asked if she could play a couple games on the Wii Fit. Even though it was getting late, I said sure.
I grabbed a controller and fired up the Wii. When the game had finished loading, I went straight to the balance games. (There are many games in that section which Namine can do by herself, without needing to stand up.)
“Go over to the next section,” Namine said to me. I scrolled left. The next section was yoga stuff, and didn’t look very fun. “Over.” Strength building: “Over.” Aerobics: “Stop.”
I highlighted each minigame, and Namine told me to keep going. She had me stop at Basic Run. “Yeah!” she said to me. “I want to do this one!”
“Are you sure? This is running in place.”
“Yes, I want to do this one. Can you grab my walker and help me?”
We’ve been bringing her walker into the house anyway, because it’s been so cold and it’s made of metal. So I carried it over to Namine, who needed no help standing up in it and strapping herself in.
Why should I have had any doubts about Namine’s willingness to try something new? I didn’t discourage her, but in retrospect, I was not completely supportive, either.
I admit that I fear for my daughter. I want to protect her from hurt, from pain — not that I have been thus far successful — and, like any parent, from disappointment and failure. But I should take a lesson from Namine herself; she was not afraid to try something new, something she knew she could not do on her own. She knows better than anyone how much she relies on her arms to walk. She knows, but still she was willing to try.
Namine did not walk in place. She ran. It tired her out, and when she was done, her arms were wobbly and she was out of breath. But she pushed herself past her limit.
Can I say the same for myself? I must admit I cannot. In my own efforts to lose weight and become more fit, I must admit that I often don’t push myself up to my limits. My daughter, who has known more pain and discomfort in her six years than I have in thirty-four, puts me to shame.
If there is any resolution to be had this new year, it must be to be more open. To be willing to try new things, heedless of what we fear or think we can (or cannot) do.
To live life without fear. In that, Namine shows me how to live. My little love, my baby girl, is my hero.