A couple weekends ago, I took my boyo, age 3, to an arts festival. Which, to be fair, was really more for me than him, but he was a good sport and seemed to enjoy looking at the wares. After that we went to lunch, and then (in a rare turn of events) he actually asked if he could go home and nap. Asking for nap? This mama was not gonna miss this opportunity! And so we headed home.
On the way, we passed another big outdoor festival. There were lots of people and balloons and white tents. Looked fun, but I was ready to get this kid home.
We must have seen it at the same time.
“Mama, I want to go THERE!!!!!"
It was a giant inflatable slide, about two stories high, in the shape of a T-Rex. Kids had to climb into the T-Rex’s open mouth, and then go down a slide on the side.
“Oh boy,” I thought. “It’s nap time. This kid is gonna be a disaster later if he doesn’t nap soon.” But he was filled with glee in the way only little kids can be, and this is it. So I pulled the car over and we headed for the dino slide.
Turns out you had to buy tickets to go down the slide (ugh) so I did that and watched him disappear into the dino’s mouth. He was at the front of a big pack of older kids and he was climbing slow. I could hear the kids negotiating about who should go faster and a few big kids climbed in front of him. He just kept going. When I could no longer see him, I waited for him to shoot down the slide.
I expected to see a big smile on his face when he came whooshing down, but instead he looked more in awe. He bounced off the end of the slide, beamed, raised both hands into the air and jump-shouted, “MAMA, I SO POWERFUL!!"
My mama heart burst right open. Yes, boyo, you are. Yes, you are.
It got me thinking about our relationship to confidence.
Because maybe you do need to get the degree, win the award, get the book deal, or hit the metric to feel more confident. Or maybe you just need an adrenaline rush.
Maybe you just need to ask for what you want.
Maybe you just need to have fun at new experiences.
Maybe you just need to get out of your head, climb into the dino’s mouth of your choosing, and take the slide.
And maybe you’ll have a meltdown later because you never napped, but it will be so worth it.