16 Jan
2014
Posted in: parenting
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Greatest Adventure

We have a chalkboard hanging on the door leading into our garage. I write phrases on it or let the kiddos draw a picture on it. Most of the time, you’ll find something seasonal on the board. The start of the new year, a new beginning, had me looking at inspirational quotes for the benefit of the kids. This is what our board said:

mistakes chalkboard

“Mistakes are proof you are trying.” I thought it was perfect. I grew up terrified of making mistakes, sure that every mistake made me look like an idiot. I don’t want my own children to deal with the notion they are a failure simply because they make mistakes. That thinking is unequivocally NOT true. Mistakes do not mean you, the person, are a failure.

Last week my sarcastic, eldest child told me every time he reads the board he adds “and failing” to the end. It was an honest comment. He was being witty and didn’t mean for it to creep into my subconscious and drive me bonkers. For one whole week, I’ve looked at that board and only read it with “and failing” as if those two words were written in chalk.

I would walk out the door filled with those lingering memories of inadequacies from decades ago and those feelings of not being quite good enough I still struggle with. That silly chalkboard had dug a hole into my soul, and I could not flush it out. This is the year I realize I am ENOUGH. Without knowing it, my son had touched on an exposed nerve and I was twitchy from it.

Today I changed the board. I wanted the words to reflect how I see this life I’ve built.

greatest adventure chalkboard

“You are our greatest adventure.” Parenting is the ultimate adventure. Everyday holds its own surprises, triumphs, setbacks, joy, and tears. I never know what adventure each new day will bring. This is the life I want, even on those days I think I don’t. Let’s hope this phrase can’t be tarnished by an 11-year-old.

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