Dare to Fly

Anna strikes a pose.

Photo: Julia Ozab

Anna had two birthday parties this weekend. That’s right—two!

The first one—on Saturday—was for her Girl Scout Troop and we had it at a local pizza parlor with a large indoor play area. It was a budget party, with cake, drinks, and snacks, and it was a lot of fun.

The second one—on Sunday—was for her classmates. We had it at a local gymnastics place. It was not a budget party, but it was worth it to get Anna and her friends the run of the place for an hour and a half.

As one of her friends said: “This is the awesomest party ever!”

The highlight of the party was Anna’s first zip-line ride. All of her friends were as excited to see her fly across the room. I overheard one girl shout “this is going to be epic!” as one of the employees hooked Anna to the harness. Everyone stopped playing to watch.

Anna was fine until she climbed on to the railing. The she got “nervous.”

That was her word. She didn’t want to admit she was scared.

I could see how scared she was. She couldn’t bring herself to let go. The other kids shouted out encouragements. They even chanted her name. It wasn’t enough.

So I went upstairs and reassured her.

I help Anna over the railing.

Photo: Julia Ozab

I helped her ease over the railing. She still couldn’t let go. I showed her the harness and the rope and how secure they were, and I told her there was no way her mom and I would ever put her in danger.

I told her she could do it.

She said she was ready.

She let go … and then she flew.

Cheerleaders of Faith

Bloggerhood Etc. 10/27/14

Rhythm clock

Image: John Varney/TED-ED

Best Profile.The Crisis That Changed Pope Francis” by Paul Vallely at Newsweek. 

Best Dad Post. Should You Travel With Young Kids?” by Jeff Bogle at OWTK.

Bravest.Ten Minutes of Bravery” by Aaron J. Smith at Cultural Savage.

Best List.10 Traits My Tween and Teen Acquired From Participating in Live Theater” by Andee Zomerman at Nature of a Servant.

Best Call to Rebellion.A Benedictine on the Benedict Option” by Rod Dreher at The American Conservative.

Best Special Needs Post.Does Guilt Lace Your Dreams” by Kara Dedert at Not Alone.

Best Commentary.TED Talks are Lying to You” by Thomas Frank at Salon.

Best Question.Is St. Peter a Bouncer?” by Joshua Ryan Butler at A Deeper Story.

Best Answer.Why Every Newborn You See on Facebook is Wrapped in the Same Baby Blanket” by Lisa Selin Davis at Quartz.

Best Easy Recipe.Incredibly Simple Applesauce” by Evelyn Shoop at Momsicle. 

Best Free Resource.NASA Posts a Huge Library of Space Sounds, And You’re Free To Use Them” by Peter Kirn at Create Digital Music.

Best Mom Post.Flutters and Faith” by Sarah Bessey.

Best Essay.Daughter of the Dragon” by Hilary Oliva Faxon at SB Nation.

Best Educational Video.A Different Way to Visualize Rhythm” by John Varney at TED-ED (via YouTube)

Anna the Brave

Anna in a toy helmet with sword.

A princess and a knight!

“I’m not afraid of anything!”

That’s what she tells me. Anna is brave. Like Merida in her favorite princess movie Brave. Like fellow first grader Ramona Quimby in Ramona the Brave. Anna is not afraid of anything. She is brave.

I tell her it’s okay to be afraid of some things. That fear can be a good thing when it protects you from something dangerous. And I know deep down that she understands. That she knows not to put her herself in dangerous situations. She takes my hand without me asking when we cross the street. She knows to stay out of the kitchen when something hot is on the stove. She knows to yell and run—and hit and kick if necessary—if someone ever tries to grab her.

She knows these things and I think she knows that it’s okay to be afraid even if she doesn’t want to admit it.

After all, even the bravest are afraid. Merida was afraid of the bear. Ramona was afraid of the dog. Yet they acted in spite of that fear and that is what made them brave.

Someday Anna will have to act in spite of her fear too. Maybe on the playground at school when a kid is mean to her or teases her. And I know she’ll handle it. I’ve seen her hold her own with other kids at parks and at play areas. I’ve seen her stand her ground.

I know she has it in her. I know she is brave.

Five Minute Friday