Confidence in Me

Lately around my house there’s been a lot of “The Sound of Music” playing. It began with William, our four-year-old, who learned “Do-Re-Mi” at preschool. His singing prompted me to pull out my old CD of the musical, which I had stashed in the basement. When I was in high school and we put on the show, I played a nun. Now I have more in common with Maria herself, riding herd on two young children, looking for sweet moments to teach them and counting on raw confidence to bring me through the tough times. Such confidence is not limited to a mother, however.

I caught a glimpse of it recently on the face of my two-year-old daughter, Caroline. It was a spring morning, and we were outside in the bright, sweet-smelling air. And she was trying something new. She didn’t want to walk while sitting on her tricycle, she wanted to ride it. She had a look of raw determination on her face. Her feet strained against the pedals, her back pitched forward, her eyes glued to the pavement. But the bike wasn’t moving. Though the road seemed to be flat, upon closer inspection it was evident that actually there was a very slight incline. I wondered whether she’d break into tears and braced myself for a tantrum. Instead, she relaxed her legs briefly and allowed the bike to roll backwards momentarily. Then she thrust her feet down with renewed energy. The wheels began to turn. She was doing it. As she hit a regular rhythm, Caroline turned and gave me a wide grin that I knew I’d always remember. The sun reflected off her sunglasses and her coat flew up in the air behind her. I applauded.

Sometimes as a mom it occurs to me that life has so much to teach our little ones. If they can muster the determination and the confidence to face something small, like a little hill in the street, I believe they’ll handle the big stuff just fine. And in the meantime, we can celebrate these little triumphs with them; those rare moments when our own lives seem part of some bigger production – even something fit for the musical stage.

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