Tuesday, April 12, 2016

You Should probably learn to Juggle. Week 8 2016: The Wonder Studio

 "I forgot how much you sing." my niece said to me one summer.

"Does your mom always sing like this?" a friend of my daughter's asked her.

And my favorite little neighbor girl, "Why do you sing so much? You sound terrible."

I told her, " I don't sing because I'm good at it, I sing because I just like to."
 I remember a few years ago...maybe 15 years now. My dad was telling us about his new hobby...
My dad always seemed to have new interests and was never particular brilliant at any one thing in particular. (Sshhh, don't tell him I said that ;)
Dad explained the best way to learn how to juggle. You practice standing over the couch so when you drop one of the balls, it doesn't roll all over the floor.
He said, you first start with one ball, then 2, then 3.

Well, I thought it was interesting but didn't think too much on it. After all, how useful is it to be able to Juggle?
But, sure enough after a few months and my dad's due diligence, he was juggling with some efficiency.
Every time those balls went up in the air, there's dad with a big smile, face red, and usually some good laughs.

Over the past 37 years, I have always loved hearing about the new things my dad would take on...tennis, chess, stationary biking, cooking, blogging, etc...
After a time, we didn't see him juggling any more, he was onto something else.
But, from time to time, we ask him to show us again... after a few failed attempts, he can usually get the balls flying again.
"It's like riding a bike," he says.
My dad's zest and perhaps quest for new and interesting hobbies maybe has helped spur my willingness to fail.
That's the thing with trying something new. You will fail.
Often many many times before feeling some success.

Too often, we get stuck only doing the things that we are good at. We praise our children for being "good at" certain things emphasizing that those are the things we should keep at.
We forget how much fun it can be to learn something new.
For a child, everything is new. 
Most of the time, they are not "good" at anything in particular yet.
They make A LOT of mistakes.
And, boy are they learning from those mistakes.
They are particularly learning and watching what happens when you make a mistake.
How do you recover?
or Not?
Almost 2 years ago, I decided to devote myself to learning something new each season.
I started with Ukulele...then
So, I am not really good at any of them. But, I can keep a few balls in the air before they fall.
My kids have heard my many many failed G7 chord attempts and they have also heard my exuberance when that G7 sounds perfect.
The Wonder Studio is definitely a place for failure.
Kids here can make mistakes.
They will definitely learn that Life will NOT always go the way they thought it would.
They will make mistakes socially.
They might hit or make another child cry.
They might have someone take a toy from them.
Physically, they might mistakenly trip or fall, spill a paint jar, etc...
However, in the course of all the mistakes happening...if you watch...they are learning A LOT.
Failing is something we have to let them know is normal and it's something we can recover from.
As these years have gone by...some have been very hard for my dad.
As, it turns out...Juggling is one of the most useful skills he has acquired.
While, taking care of my disabled mother, surviving his oldest daughter's death, loving his grandchildren, AAANNND, he is still learning something new all the time.
I know it's been hard for him to keep those different balls in the air.
One has dropped from time to time...
but he keeps on trying.
I think we can all learn from my dad's juggling.

Gosh, just make sure you have a good couch.
Because, there's always that cushion to fall on when you drop the ball.