Lessons from Elsie: When life knocks you down, you gotta get right back up again
IT feels almost ridiculous to be typing that my beautiful little girl will soon be turning two.
But yet two she will indeed turn in just over a months’ time.
Watching her develop into the spirited, inquisitive, clever, funny and all round wonderful girl that she is, has been and continues to be just a joy. Exhausting and difficult at times yes (toddlerdom is tricky!) but she really is just a pleasure to behold.
Elsie has recently started with ‘the questions’ which of course means that whatever we do or wherever we go, she demands some answers as to what this crazy ol’ world of ours is all about. And as I tell her the names of everything from a bee to a digger or try to explain to her why something has happened or why she can’t have everything she wants, she listens and concentrates and takes it all in.
She’s like the prettiest sponge in the world, constantly absorbing information and getting stuck into the little crevices of knowledge and life.
But whilst she thinks I have all the answers to her many, many questions, what she doesn’t realise is that she is also teaching me. In fact, as I’ve said before, I think my daughter is one of my greatest teachers.
There is much I love about Elsie. In fact, scrap that. There is NOTHING I don’t love about Elsie.
But one of the things I absolutely adore about her, in particular, is her spirit and her determination. She is, for those of you who don’t know her, a little fire cracker. Feisty, explosive and constantly bubbling with excitement and joy.
Nothing and no one will stand in her way from getting what she wants or doing what she wants to do. And even though as her Mum, I of course know that she needs to understand she can’t always do or have what she wants, I can’t help but admire her go getting attitude, resilience and courage.
Whilst walking home the other day from a quick trip to the local park, Elsie fell down. Not once, but three times. She scuffed her knees and grazed the palms of her hands a little and yet, she never whinged or cried. As quickly as she fell down, she was back up. And all I could think to myself was, “that’s my girl.”
Whenever she stumbles (which is still pretty often, she’s yet to learn that her tiny steps doesn’t quite match the size of her personality!) I always ask her if she’s ok. And every time, she simply replies: “I’m fine”, picking herself up and carrying on with a huge smile on her face and a willingness to get going.
But how many of us can say the same?
How many of us, after getting knocked down by one of life’s big punches, get back up as quickly as we’ve fallen and carry on with the same kind of determination?
It’s not always easy of course. We all know that. Elsie’s trips and falls are little, minor stumbling blocks in comparison to the major stuff we encounter in our lives as adults, like illness, divorce, death or redundancy.
Sometimes, it requires more strength than we can muster to get back up as quickly as we’ve been knocked down. And often, when we have the wind knocked out of our sails, we just need some time and space to catch our breath again.
And that of course is ok. But eventually, when we do feel stronger, we have to find a way of standing back up, shaking ourselves off and carrying on in the world. We have to continue to put one step in front of the other as we attempt to hold our heads high.
We may not bounce back up as quickly as Elsie does when she falls, but that’s alright as long as we DO make the effort to get back up and carry on.
Life is a wonderful ride but also brutal at times and there will always be occasions when we feel like we’ve taken one punch too many. But the key, as I’ve learnt from my daughter, is that when life puts a massive hurdle in your way, you just need to find a way to clamber over it and keep going. And be determined that you will get over it, somehow.
Because there is always a way to get over anything that life throws at us. Be it as something as small as an unexpected rise in a curb that makes us trip up or a mountain of personal problems that just seems too much to tackle, all we need to do is just take one little (toddler) step at a time.
And if sometimes, we need to sit still a while and have a rest before we can continue on our journey, well then hey, just like Elsie, we can always pick some daisies whilst admiring the view.
With love (and pouts)