The Munch is having a set back at gymnastics. She's about to move to Level 5. In Level 5, you're required to jump to the high bar. Can she do it? Yes. Problem: She has fallen off twice and it has basically scared the living crap out of her.
The precursor to jumping to the high bar, is a glide kip. Can she do it? Yes, but only at home. She has not, up to this point, done it at gym. I know she can do it; her coaches know she can do it. They spot her with ONE FINGER and she does it, yet all but refuses to do it herself. After gym last night, her coach confronted her about it--she asked if she was scared to kip for some reason. Clairey immediately started crying. She said she was scared to kip because if she does it, then she knows she'll have to jump to the high bar and she's scared. [Let me tell you--her coach is freakin' AMAZING. She has more patience than I. She's going to be a brilliant mother one day.] Clairey's coach hugged her and loved on her, and told her that it's okay to be scared--that if she's not ready to move to Level 5, then that's okay--she can stay at Level 4. Clairey said okay, and we left.
We were bringing home a teammate of Clairey's, and she told Clairey that she knows Clairey can do it, and that she's a great gymnast. We dropped her off, and as soon as that door shut, Clairey started crying again. "I don't WANT to be Level 4!! I want to be Level 5!!"
"But you HAVE to do a jump to high bar in Level 5," I said.
"But I'm scared! I'm going to break my neck!"
Come to find out, the last 2 times she's fallen, she thought she broke her neck. And, she landed in a way that the wind was knocked out of her. That scares me as an adult--i'm sure, at 8, that it scared the bejeezus out of her.
She continued to cry. She wouldn't eat dinner--just ate crackers and cheese, and cried them into a nasty glob of tears and drool. She finally calmed down in the shower, and i just told her straight up:
"Listen, if you are not ready to move to Level 5--if you're not ready to jump to high bar--then I'm totally cool with it. You can take another year at Level 4, then move to Level 5 next year, okay? I promise you, I'm absolutely, 100% okay with it. I'm so proud of you, and i know when you're ready, you'll do it." And I looked at her--with her sweet, little, calloused hands in mine.
"You promise, mommy?"
"Yes, Munch, I promise."
"Okay...I want to be Level 5."
This kid. I swear.
"Are you SURE?" I asked. "REALLY SURE?"
"Yep. Pinky swear."
If you have an 8-year old, you know the severity of the 'pinky swear.' I got the pinky swear. And a bonus 'fist-bump-explosion.'
I told her that she needed to talk to her coach about it. She said she'd rather write a letter.
I love how she says she will "fockes" (focus). :)