Friday’s Free Refill: Running Her Own Race

We must stop getting in the way of our children’s growth. We must step aside as they figure it out.

When our daughter told us she was running for the Social Media Correspondent position at her school, I was thrilled. I love to see her step out of her comfort zone. It of course, brought back memories for me, when I ran for school president back in 1985 and lost. I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm. I came up with slogans, all of which she politely turned down. I came with campaign suggestions, speech ideas, poster designs, and other schemes. She said NO to all of them. I had to be quiet. I had to honor her journey and step off the playing field. It wasn’t my game. I could cheer from the sidelines.

She was doing things I would not have done. She wasn’t using her energy they way I would have. I had to continually tape my mouth shut. I kept stepping on the field when it had nothing to do with me. My turn to run for office was 31 years ago, it was Margaret’s turn.

The night before the election she gave her speech to her dad and I as we sat on the couch taking it all in. The speech was great, it was her. And of course, I had a couple of suggestions. Just a couple. My husband gently grabbed by hand and said, “She is not giving her speech to adults. This speech is for high school freshman, let it be.”

I bit my lip knowing he was spot on (kind of). Margaret heard this exchange and made a two word change in her speech. It was all her, her words, her delivery.

At the beginning of all this I asked Margaret if I could attend her speech. If you are paying attention, you already know her answer. No. When her father wanted to attend, I gave him his own advice, Let it be.

We want our kids to avoid our mistakes. We want them to succeed. We want them to be happy. The thing is, that’s not for us to figure out and create.  Our mistakes are for our journey. Their mistakes can be the best things that happen to them. Success comes in many colors, shapes and sizes. We don’t get to define their success. And they are responsible for their own happiness.

We need to step off the field. We need to get out of the way.  We need to let them stumble and fall so that they can fly.

Hello! I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Coach for your Life and Spirit. I have been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. One of my favorite ways to fill my own cup is by writing. May my weekly blog give you a sip to reflect, a nugget to chew, a thought to refill. If it is an accountability partner you seek, I offer life and spiritual coaching for men, women, teenagers, and couples, in person in Seattle and by phone.  2017 Mini-retreats in West Seattle 9:30 – 2: June 2 (sold out), September 15 (4 seats left). Limited availability, register early. or 206 255 0463.