We did it! The littles completed their very first triathlon, and I couldn’t be prouder. Of course, the day wasn’t without some bumps and bruises, but my littles made my mommy heart smile BIG!
All of us were nervous when we first arrived at the race. I had absolutely no idea if my littles would behave or not. In fact, I was most certain that my daughter would freak the moment she realized I couldn’t go into transition with her. Quite the opposite! By the time I ran out of the swim area and around to the transition gate, she was already halfway down the bike route.
Never in a million years did I think she would excel the way she did, but she loved it. I cannot begin to explain the utter pride I had in watching her embrace her independence.
My son had a bit more trouble, however. He was already upset over the fact that I forgot his goggles for his swim (mom fail). But he got through it fairly well, and he began his bike portion with no trouble. Unfortunately, one of his training wheels came loose during his ride, causing him to freak (the one kid I didn’t think would give me issues) and ride extremely slow for fear of falling off.
But he endured and pushed forward, not letting it bother him that he came in last. It took everything I had not to follow him on the course to encourage him to keep going. Turns out, I didn’t even really need to (although, I did some). At a time when he could have easily quit, he kept going and finished strong. Again, absolute pride!
Two different experiences, but one same result: finishing.
It is our job as parents to push our littles outside of their comfort zones, even when we may not be ready ourselves. I struggle with giving my littles more independence. I fear their little hearts breaking if they fail or if something doesn’t go quite as they expect. I want to make everything perfect for them, but perfection isn’t reality, and reality is honestly so much more beautiful of an experience.
Learning to let go is honestly the hardest part of parenting. But had I not let go that day, I would have missed out on seeing the strength of both of my littles, in very different ways, but strong nonetheless. The best part, they both want to participate in the kid’s triathlon next year! Now, if I can only get my daughter to swim without her floatie…