Be Careful of the Carrot You Choose.

Here’s Bubbly, so proud of her 5th place ribbon that she and her relay earned today.  This pride came after a few tears of heartbreak.  

She pulled it together.  I’m so proud of that.

We dangle swim team in front of her like this carrot that will lead her toward “normal,” (I use the term ‘normal’ loosely, because what kid have you ever met that is totally ‘normal?’ Kids are weird I tell ya, every single one of ’em).  Bubbly wants so badly to be “normal” though.  She tells me all the time that she doesn’t want to have the “problems” that she has.  She wants us to be able to trust her to leave our line of sight so she can run and play.  She wants to be able to go to birthday parties or to take a dance class.  We made a deal with her that we wouldn’t enroll her in private school this summer and that she could try joining the swim team.   In return, she had to try, really try no behave the way she had the past couple of months.  We decided to give her a chance.

She has done what we have asked.  She is doing the absolute best she can.  

This doesn’t mean we don’t have our moments, but frankly, I thought the coaches would kick her out in the first week because she couldn’t listen, would be all over the pool and would sass everyone to death.  Instead, we created a true competitor.  In some ways, we a true over-competitor.  We talked her up so much, trying so hard to give her the confidence she lacked, that we turned her into kind of a little monster.  She wasn’t in the “fast” (her definition, not ours) lane at practice on Friday, so she had a little stompy mini-diva fit.  Today, she screwed up, stopping in the middle of the pool because she had thought she did something wrong because she was coming in last and didn’t know where everyone else had gone (um, they had all finished, they were all older, it happens).  When she realized she “lost”, she cried.  She cried fat tears of heartbreak because she didn’t win.  I love her heart, but…

Girlfriend, sometimes you come in last.  It’s part of life.  

We need to be cognizant of what a black and white thinker she is.  She is sure she should win, otherwise she’s sure that it means that she herself is a loser.  Not true baby girl, not true at all.  

You’re winning just by being out there at all.  

You’re winning just by being who you are.  

You’re winning just because you lived through what you did, what most of us can’t even fathom in our worst nightmares, and you’re determined to come out of it the other side, happy, healthy and whole.  

You’re winning because you have a mama and daddy who love you more than words could ever do justice.  

who will be more careful of the carrot she chooses from now on.  

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