The kids' school does a skating night every other month. They have been skating 4 times now and are not the best skaters but they keep trying.
Jacob goes so s l o w l y ... he says it hurts too much to fall so he'd rather go slowly than get hurt. I understand.
Kaley is pretty fast and rarely falls. Her style is a bit unorthodox but that's part of what makes her "her".
Sam is quick. He takes a running start and doesn't mind falling. He'll get right back up determined to go faster. He says he likes it when he feels a bit out of control.
Luke falls a lot ... but he gets right back up again ... with a SMILE! He laughs and it doesn't even slow him down, doesn't dampen his excitement in the least.
Zoe is like a turtle. It takes her forever to get her 4 year old self around that rink and by the time she makes one loop, she's in a full out sweat. She too falls and gets right back up with the most determined face ever.
My role? I sit. Though I love to skate, I find it better if I'm there at a table ready with snacks and drinks. I can hear all their escapades. I can kiss any boo-boos. Then I send them right back out.
Tuesday night, we were skaking again. The next table over from me was a mother, grandmother, grandfather and 1st grader. (Same as Luke.) They were trying to coax him back on the floor. He'd fallen twice and was too embarassed to go back out. They didn't know I could hear them but they were pointing out MY kids to him as examples. "See that one? He keeps fallling and getting right back up." etc.
Eventually, after MUCH coaxing, he went back on the floor and started to have fun.
On the way home I told the kids what had happened. I told them that people were watching them and they had been able to help someone just by being themselves. I think a light went off in their heads. They had NO clue people were watching. They had NO clue they were good examples. *I* knew that. But now they know it too.
My point? People are ALWAYS watching. What message are you sending?