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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Add Motivational Speaker to the List

A dad has many jobs. I'm sure I've been through them at one point. Teacher, protector, chef, monster hunter. I've also been a cheerleader for my daughter. I praise her when she accomplishes things. I show her how proud I am when she does something nice for someone else. Today, I took a little different spin on that job. I had to be a motivational speaker.

I'm not big on taking her out for fast food, but about once a month I take her to get chicken nuggets and fries. It can be at any of the fast food places. Today, I took her to one down the street that has a play area. We sat near the crazy plastic jungle gym that resembles a Habitrail for children. It has no steps. Instead, there is a tube with a net for the kids to climb. We faced this beast once before and lost.

After she finished her food, Casey was ready to go, sort of. She started into the tube, and that was it. She couldn't move up the net. She was afraid and thought she couldn't do it. I told her what she needed to do, and then it actually took me pushing her by her butt to help her get up the net. Once she got up there, she was excited. That lasted only moments. Between her and the giant slide was another short net. She was stuck. I had to take my thirty-five-year-old ass up there and get her through.

When we got down, she wanted to try again. She froze and started crying. I brought her back out, and I didn't hug her, even though that's what she wanted. Instead, I wiped her tears and got her to stop crying. That's when I turned into Vince Lombardi. I asked her if she wanted to get up there. She said yes. I told her that she could do it, and that I knew she could. I got her pumped up and sent her in. She started climbing without my help. As she got to the top of the net, she got excited and pulled herself up. I was so proud.

The second net was a breeze, and she came flying down the slide. She made it up one more time. For some reason, the fear kicked in again, and she stopped. I couldn't get her going again. She was tired, and it showed. That was fine. I was just happy that I could get her going in the first place. I'm sure it'll be a frequent task. Hell, I need that sometimes, but I usually get that from my own head. I guess that's one more thing I need to teach her.

I think everyone needs a confidence boost occasionally. Fear of failure is common. It surprises me a little to see it in someone so young. The sad part is that for her to get over that fear, she'll have to fail many times. It's almost like the guy who gets bitten by a million snakes. Eventually, his blood becomes an anti-venom. I'll teach her how to develop the failure anti-venom early. I'm loaded with it.

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