My Son, my youngest, is seven. When he was five and a half, not even in Kindergarten yet, he decided he wanted to play the piano like his older brothers. My older sons' piano instructor likes to wait until kids have at least begun Kindergarten so I took my little boy aside and let him know he was still a bit too young to play piano.
My baby boy asked his older brother to help him learn and within weeks he was playing tunes.
I got him in lessons by the next month.
The summer before that, he wanted to learn to ride a bike without training wheels. His dad and I had some commitments and we were unable to take him out and teach him the day he decided he wanted to learn. He gave us two days. I was making dinner when I went to check on the boys playing outside and I saw my tiny 4 year old doggedly trying to learn to ride a bike on his own. He was doing really well, too. I looked at his dad and said, "If we want to be a part of this memory we should drop what we are doing and get out there too, I guess." (But it was more like-- Holy crap we had better GET OUT THERE!-- because me and zen aren't often very good friends.)
Then there was reading. Oh my goodness. I bought a book of lessons for teaching a pre-schooler to read and we worked through some of the lessons over the summer before Kindergarten. Then we went to the Library. He wanted to check out a "chapter book." I said to my little one,
"Oh let's get a book that doesn't have chapters yet so that you can practice your reading."
He gave me this blankish stare. Then informed me he was checking out the chapter book. I said to him,
"This book could get frustrating. I don't know that you are ready for a chapter book. Let's go find those Batman easy reader books you like so you can practice your reading."
Again the look that didn't understand a word I was saying. He checked out the chapter book.
That night as I went to give kisses before turning off the light for bed, lo and behold there is my little boy, sitting shirtless in his bed ("Why would I wear a shirt to bed, mom?") and he is reading every single word in that chapter book like a boss. He continued to do this every night until he was as fluent as his older brothers. All this before Kindergarten. Okay.
Do you have a voice in your head telling you that you can do it? Do you have one that says you can't? (My voice generally says I can't lately). Do people you love and trust have advice for you? Good, sound advice?
Do you know how in a river there are generally rocks in the water. When I was a girl I would love to reach into the water and pull up smooth pebbles to keep. I love a cool, clear stream that has pretty rocks in it.
My son reminds me of the calm water in a stream. Rocks are all over the place "in his way." The bed where his stream is running is rocky. Life is so rocky. He just calmly finds another way. He flows past the rocks.
Who are you going to believe?
My youngest son really loves me and I have told him a few times that life is a certain way. Something inside of him told him that he could probably find a way like water around a rock in a stream to still forge ahead. And he was peacefully right. No one could tell him he couldn't do it. He doesn't just believe me telling him. He finds out for himself first.
I like that. That is a hard lesson in this life. Who am I going to believe? Who am I going to look to?
Life can look all sorts of ways.