One afternoon we went on a family hike. By the end, the three of us were all tired, hungry and cranky. I felt my patience and strength slipping as my daughter whined, “Carry me!”
My mind sifted through all of our options like my husband going to get the car, but it looked like we would just have to finish the hike back. A part of me just wanted to push through and get it over with, but then I thought maybe a little impromptu special time might shift the mood. I asked my daughter if she’d like to have special time right here on our hike. Her face lit up and she said, “Yes! Can we play ‘little girl’?” (This is a game where she pretends she is the momma and I’m the little girl.) I said, “Of course.”
She took the lead and climbed up every rock she could find then jumped off. She encouraged me to do the same. Instead of being the competent momma who can do anything, I played scared and begged her to hold my hands and help me. She loved this.
It was amazing to watch her go from tired and cranky to energetic and confident. I loved watching her determination as she tackled some larger rocks and hearing her proclaim, “I believe in myself!” as she jumped from smaller rocks without help.
I’m glad we didn’t push through the hike just to get it over with. We were all much happier in the end with the slower pace and taking time to delight in our daughter.