One of the things I find hardest about parenting is watching my children make mistakes. I can see the eventual consequences of a choice they are about to make and I want to protect them. Recently, I talked to Miguel about this after a choice of his led to tremendous disappointment. I was frustrated that he hadn't taken my advice and "Why can't he just listen to me?" was on a loop in my head but I got myself together and sat down to give one of those After School Special types of parental talks. I explained that sometimes we have to learn things the hard way, that sometimes we only learn by making our own mistakes. For the record, neither of us are fans of this essential truth. I have had a lot of time to reflect on this idea of making your own mistakes because I made a really bad choice last weekend and have been living with the consequences all week. While at the cabin with friends last weekend, we created a wicked sled run. It was a short hill but it was steep and we made a jump and it was exhilerating because it was a teeny tiny bit dangerous.
Click on pictures to enlarge
This is what happened to me on my first run:
Then, my Frilly Rabbit Friend went down. Here is her run:
Did I learn from these two disasters caught on video? No, of course not. There is, however, always that moment when we realize the consequences we are about to suffer for our choices. Luckily for all of us, mine was captured in the photograph of my third run:
I have not been able to sit down/lie down/walk/stand or exist comfortably since that moment of impact. Clearly, I broke or badly bruised my tail bone and my pride was damaged as well. I also know that next time I see my children making a questionable choice I'll be less frustrated and less likely to scream, "WHY DON'T THEY LISTEN TO ME? THIS IS GOING TO END BADLY!"
The moral of the story is that learning the hard way is a huge pain in the ass.