I'm Sore, But That's Not The Point Of This Post
Aspen is in a tumbling class, and she decided to teach me a few moves. Now keep in mind that I’m 40, and she’s 8, and although I still have all my hair, and minimal gray, and only a few wrinkles (obviously I’ve aged like The Wolverine), inside, well… my bones are brittle and my joints are sore, and sometimes, when I use the wrong pillow, I wake up hunched over like I toll a bell.
But Aspen, my sweet daughter, really believes in me, obviously, because I’m her dad, and that’s a big deal. And she insisted on teaching me to do this arched back flip over thing, where my body was contorted in a direction that really shouldn’t be legal in the US because it’s clearly as dangerous as driving without a seatbelt.
The goal was to arch backwards, my body on a footstool, and then flip over backwards, and land on my feet. Which I did, for the most part, only I’m pretty sure I felt something tear between my lungs and my groin, and that seems like an important part of my digestive system. But I did it. And then I coughed what felt like blood, and something incredible happened.
Aspen just stood there and looked at me with absolute awww, almost like she didn’t think this whole adventure was even possible, almost like I’d removed my head, bounced it on the ground, and reinstalled. And as I looked at her, feeling pride steam off her eyes, I felt less pain, and more the power of knowing I’d done something pretty amazing.
I’d actually impressed one of my kids.
Naturally, she gave me the sweetest hug, and told me I did great, and that I needed to try again to get it right (essentially all the things her tumbling coaches tell her).
And like an idiot, I tried it again, and only this time I did a little better, but ultimately it was just as painful, and she clapped, and for a short time, our roles were reversed, and Aspen was the teacher and I was the student. There was a warmth in that.
She told her mom and sister how that I didn’t do that great, but sorta good, which was high praise from an 8yo. And by the end of the day, there was something new about her that I couldn’t quite define, but I think it was confidence. This whole wacky experience helped her gain confidence in her ability to be the teacher. And honestly, I didn’t see it coming, but it made all the pain in my abdomen absolutely worth it.
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