Brave

I wish I was as brave as baby girl.

When she sees something she wants, she doesn’t hesitate, weighing every possible risk and imagining the worst-case scenarios in her head.  She sees it, she wants it, and she leaps.  She lunges.  Sometimes I have to catch her to keep those worst-case scenarios from coming to fruition, but she doesn’t seem to mind.

In the last month, she quickly went from wobbly baby steps to confident striding toward her goals, wiping out dozens of times, but getting up again and again.  No fear.  No worry.  Just pure determination and desire.

It’s a quality I admire, and I tell her so.  “You’re so brave and strong, my baby!”  I have repeated these words to her since she was tiny, lifting her head from my shoulder to get a better look at the world.  These are the qualities I want to cultivate in my daughter, and in myself as well.  So far, she’s been a much better teacher than I have needed to be.

In my experience, bravery has gotten harder to come by with age. Or maybe not. Maybe true courage is not ignoring the risks but forging ahead in spite of them. Maybe the truest proof of my own bravery is the fact of baby girl’s existence. I could have given up after our first attempt at IVF failed. Part of me wanted to. But if I had let the fear take over, I never would have met my daughter. She is the living, breathing talisman of the courageous–not fearless–journey Hubby and I have been on for the last three and a half years.

When she falls, when she hurts, when it seems too difficult, when there are too many obstacles, that is the bravery I need to remind her of. Not that she shouldn’t be afraid, but that the fear doesn’t have to take over. That the fear can’t win.

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