‘I heard his sweet, crackly voice whisper, ‘Mama, I don’t want to go.’ He burst into tears and lunged toward me.’: Mom urges ‘cheer them on, congratulate them, tell them how proud you are’

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“‘Now how many more days, mama!?’ my sweet 5-year-old asked eagerly as he stood on his bed reaching up to cross off yet another day on his calendar. ‘That’s it, buddy. Just one more sleep and tomorrow is your first day of ice hockey. It’s finally here! So exciting, isn’t it?’ I replied happily with a bit of relief the 20+ times a day of this same question would now come to an end.

The next morning, a delicious scent of our traditional Saturday morning pancakes and bacon filled the house. I entered the kitchen with the littlest on my hip, kissed my husband, and he handed me my morning fuel. I could hear Cam excitingly reminding his sisters today was his day, his very ‘fourst’ day of hockey.

Courtesy of Vanessa F.

After everyone’s belly was full, my husband and I discussed the day’s schedule and firmed up who was going where. It was finally time for Cam to get going with daddy and head out for his big day. As I helped my boy find his missing boot in the pile of snow gear, he grew quiet. Then, I heard his sweet crackly voice whisper, ‘Mama, I don’t want to go,’ as he burst into tears and lunged toward me.

‘Oh, Cam. What’s wrong, buddy? You were so excited. What happened?’

He fought through tears trying to explain how he was scared and just didn’t want to go, my heart sank.

You see, my Cam has always been this little fearless ball of energy. A funny, witty, confident, mischievous, smart boy – a tiny clone of his dad. No wonder why I just adore this boy oh so very much. But as I have found in life, starting something new can be scary. Hesitation can take over our minds, filling it with doubts, what-ifs, and fear.

As I held my little trembling man, feeling his warm tears falling from his eyes onto my own cheek, every fiber of me felt his fear. A tiny part of me wanted to let him stay home and start when he felt ready, but a bigger part of me knew this was my moment to put my big girl parent pants on and encourage him. After 8+ years of parenting, one would think this would be easy, but it’s still quite the struggle for me. I squeezed him tight, then gently pulled him slightly away so he could see my eyes as I spoke to him.

‘Cam, this is all normal. Feeling afraid before we start something new is normal. I still feel scared before I start anything new too, buddy. But you know what? You’re going to get past that fear and when you’re out on that ice you will feel something amazing. Believing in yourself is one of the absolute best feelings in the world. Go have fun, bud. Daddy will be right there with you, cheering you on. I want to hear all about it when you get home. I love you.’

And just like that, he was out the door. My heart ached a bit as I watched the car pull out of the driveway, hoping it was all going to go well.

A short time later, my phone buzzed. And there it was, Cam’s ear to ear smile clenching tightly to a walker on the ice, proud as can be.

Courtesy of Vanessa France

Oh, the joy I felt staring at that picture. Moments later, a second picture arrived with a note that read, ‘He already ditched the walker!’ I could just picture dad’s proud face cheering him on. I was so proud of Cam for fighting through fear and realizing the joy and pride on the other side.

Courtesy of Vanessa France

As we get older, these fears all too often paralyze us and hold us back from attempting new things. Whether it’s writing the book you’ve always dreamed of writing, starting the new business you have been thinking about, or training for the half marathon you’ve always wanted to do. Just as a child sometimes needs reassurance and support, we often desperately need it as adults as well.

So, the next time someone shares about something new they started – a new sport, a new business, a new blog, a new job, a new school, etc. – remember you are seeing the highlight reel. Remember there was most likely a moment of fear, of hesitation, of doubt they had to get through in order to arrive at that new venture. Cheer them on, congratulate them, or tell them how proud you are of them. Believe me, they will appreciate it.

I pray my husband and I can instill the determination and confidence in all our children to fight through fear and hesitation of new beginnings. I also hope you are able to fight through those feelings when something inside you desires to try something new because there truly is magic waiting on the other side – just ask Cam.”

Courtesy of Vanessa F.
Courtesy of Vanessa France

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Vanessa F. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more from Vanessa:

‘Eeww, look at those gross bumps,’ you said to your friends as you filled your slushies. ‘She should really have a cover-up on.’: Mom of 4 embraces postpartum body after public shaming

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