Friday, July 10, 2009

Really Tall Stuff

Harper used to be fearful of new things.

Apparently, she has scaled that mountain.

On July 4th, she took on a 25 foot climbing wall outside Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

The last time she attempted a climbing wall was last October at the First Focus retreat. I was totally excited to see her attempt something as new as this back then.

This time, I was completely dumbfounded at how she attacked the hurdle. On her first try, she got half way, turned to look down (not helpful at all), freaked a bit, and lowered herself to the ground.

Not to be outdone by the kid next to her, so got back on and began climbing again. Just a third of the way left, she exclaimed, "I can't do this! It's too hard!"

We told her she was fine and that she COULD do it.

And she did. This photo shows her clinging with her right hand, while swinging over to hit the buzzer with the left.

At which point, the crowd broke out into cheers.

"That felt good" was her response - to both the task and the encouragement from the crowd.

She's not scared of heights, as say, George is. High places don't stump her sense of courage. So, the actual 25 feet of the climbing wall was not a foe to her.

For Harper, the "height" is her ability to believe and thus lean into the truth that God did not give her a spirit of timidity, but rather, one of power, and love, and self-discipline.

We all have fear of something taller than us.

Harper has only recently begun conquering her fears that paralyzed her from trying anything new for years. After some good work in her life by God, us, family, friends, and professionals, she has broken quite a few of the plaster shells that engulfed her from ages 4-7. If you were to meet her today for the first time, you would never believe that this was a child who used to be plagued by anxiety.

Zane has just begun confronting his "heights". A new town. A new home. A new room. New friends - who don't yet feel like real friends even though they are nice as can be . . . how can you really replace a Schuyler, Will, Jonny, Brady, Dmitry, Zachary, or Alex?

This change has been monumental in his little life. A big, giant-like change, with Zane looking up at the monster and exclaiming, "I don't like you." Everyday is different for the little guy. Time to teach him about David and Goliath.

Today he played in the pool for hours, just paddling away ALL BY HIMSELF while wearing his bubble. I wasn't even in the pool with him (yes, I was close by), for I needed to give him the sense that he could conquer those things which have, in the past, made him nervous. Swimming, being one of them. With the help of Harper, and our 11 year old neighbor, Zane became quite comfortable in the water, scooting here and there with a huge smile glued to his face.

It exhausted him. He is now quietly playing lego's in the buff.

He has also started gymnastics. He is attentive in class, enthusiastic, and shares that he "could do the rings all day long." At the first class he wanted nothing to do with the beginning stretches, and stood to the side drawing pretend circles on his palm with his finger, which is his non-verbal way of communicating anxiety. At the second class he did every ounce of the class, and came bounding out afterwards yelling, "I did it all! I did the whole class!"

He is climbing his own walls. Takin on his own really tall stuff. And he too, in an attempt to reach the top, will experience a moment (or two) of intense fear and regret, will want to give up, and yet, force himself to hang on and hit the buzzer.

We're not waiting for the buzzer, however. We're already cheering him on.

Have I shared lately how much I love my children?

1 comment:

Trish said...

For the record: Jonny while driving home yesterday from our playdate with new friends,
"yes, Jonny?"
"Mom, when can I have a playdate with Zane? I miss him."

Connie's response - "Jonny, Zane moved - but I'm sure he misses you too."

Very sweet exchange & after reading your blog, I just had to share it!!