On a recent podcast with the inspiring Karen Van Der Poll, she described this beautifully.
Karen’s son, Xander – had an accident at the age of 19 which left him paralysed from the waist down. During the early stages of his recovery he dropped his phone from his wheel chair and she refused to pick it up for him.
This was an active choice she made in the moment. She realised it was her job as a mum to show him he could survive without her. We are not all as brave as Karen – many of us want our children to know that they need us and it takes huge courage and self awareness and restraint to do what’s best for them, not us.
So she stepped back and filmed him while he struggled to do it for himself – it took 3 1/2 painstaking minutes and he managed it!
This was a huge realisation for Xander and a big step in his rehabilitation.
How much courage it must have taken from her, to not step in to help when it would have been so easy to do this?
“Inside I was howling”
It also occurred to me, how she didn’t know if he actually could pick it up – neither of them knew – she could have made him feel even worse – she took a huge risk and it paid off. She told me if he hadn’t managed it she would have picked it up and they would have seen how close he got – still a worthwhile exercise.
Sometimes (in fact many times!) we have to take a leap of faith, not knowing if we are right but believing in the potential of our children and in our own ability to know what’s best for them.
Being a parent who wants to help their children fly is not an easy job it takes courage, selflessness, restraint and a huge dose of faith in their ability and in ours.
Do you agree?
If you have time, do have a listen to Karen she has so much wisdom to share.