Why It’s Important To Try Again

What a difference a week makes.

Last week I took all three kids to gymnastics for their first summer session. The girls have been doing gymnastics for a long time and love it, but this was their first day with new teachers. And because the classes filled up quickly, the girls were going to have to be with different teachers. There was only one day with one time slot available where I could get the girls in at the same time as I could do a mommy-and-me class with the little guy.

Of course, sometimes in the mayhem of littles, you get excited over one victory- like finding a class for all three at the same time- and forget what kind of consequences you might face as a result of your tiny victory. And since I’ve told you how important it is to be real with each other, here’s some more of my real.

A couple of weeks went by between the last May class and the first summer session. I was very excited for this first day of gymnastics, mainly because I’d get to chase Zadok around the gym that he’s always trying to break into instead of the viewing area that he regularly terrorizes.

We even talked to the girls beforehand about how they would have different teachers for the summer and would be in different classes. It was like this at preschool, so we thought they would adjust alright, even if it might be a little tough at the beginning.

She has all my beset traits and all of my not-so-great traits.

I should have known that Arella’s protests the night before would come to fruition the next morning. After all, she is my strong-willed, determined daughter that drops me to my knees on a regular basis. You know, cuz she is

Just. Like. Me.

We arrived at the gym and figured out where we were supposed to go. Neither girl wanted to go in but were initially happy to watch the warm-up from the door. Then Zoe, who has recently become this incredibly courageous little girl, up and marches over to her teacher to be part of the class.

And that’s when Arella snapped.

I asked her gently if she wanted to go to her class, and my sweet, compassionate girl promptly flipped out. She cried that she wanted to go in Zoe’s class, but it was full. Then she wanted to go to Zadok’s baby class but said she wouldn’t sit and watch. Her level of drama and discontent was rising at an astronomical, tsunami-type rate.

All eyes were on us as I attempted to calmly talk sense into this completely unglued 4-year-old while holding/wrangling a squirmy, antsy 16-month-old tank of a boy.

There was a small bathroom behind us, so we walked in to try to talk without distractions and calm down some. Bad idea.

Backing away from me, she activated the automatic hand dryer which sent her screaming and reeling into Zadok and me, knocking us over. I’m pretty sure some people in the viewing area outside the door were ready to call CPS just by the noise and commotion.

So we retreat loudly back into the hallway where Zoe is standing with an instructor because she’s concerned about Arella. Now both girls refuse to go in the gym, and I’ve been holding Mr. Tank with one extremely fatigued arm for a good 20 minutes while in a half quad-screaming squat trying to reason with a preschooler.

At this point I’m pretty defeated both physically and emotionally. I’m wondering if we should just not even do gymnastics in the summer, or maybe EVER again. I’m getting angry that we spent a lot of money to sit in a hallway, crying and embarrassed. I called my husband pleading for help, but he was so calm and reasonable, I hung up frustrated and could no longer keep my tears from pouring down my face.

Since by now we only had a few minutes left of class (yes, all this drama over a 45 minute class), the manager suggested we go talk the coach after so Arella could meet him and see that he’s nice. Of course, Arella hid behind my leg the entire time I talked with the coach.

Before we left, the manager was able to move Zoe into Arella’s class starting the next week in a newly open spot. As I was buckling everyone into the car, out of the blue and of her own accord, Arella told me, calm as a cucumber, that next week she will go into her class. “Mom, I was just scared because I didn’t know him. Now I do, so I’ll go to my class next time.”

Like I told you earlier, my girl is determined. I knew when she told me she would go to class the next week, she would do exactly that. And sure enough yesterday, when we went back for the next class, both girls were happy and excited to go to gymnastics. When they saw their coach, they marched right in and didn’t even look back.

Attempting to wait patiently before class. Arella is trying to stop Zoe from running in.

They were so excited to start class, that they did a little pre-warm-up wrestling on the floor.

Zadok finally got to go to his little class where he busted out pull ups for the coach, and we high-fived the girls when we passed each other in the gym- smiles on all three precious little faces.

Some days feel like an all out war. They are hard, full of tears, draining and defeating. But with a little resolve to try just one more time, everything can change.

Most people give up and quit right before their biggest breakthroughs come. In that moment when we want to quit, we have to remember that the next try could be the breakthrough. Just keep going, perseverance is the real name of the game. And perseverance is just a matter of getting up on more time than you fall down.

“…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces perseverance, and perseverance produces character, and character produces hope…”

— Romans 5:3-4
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