Many of you will remember that Ava is the youngest daughter of Joy and John. She is also currently our youngest grand daughter at just over fourteen months.
She's been content for her older brother and sister to carry her around; so walking didn't seem especially necessary. Until now. With two new "babies" in the mix, Ava has definitely stepped up her game. Talking and walking have become priorities.
She is such a bright little girl and flashes the trademark Schreck Smile on the regular. No one can resist her charm. She also showed off her teaching skills this week.
Everyone came to our house for family dinner Monday and it immediately got LOUD, as usual. With eight adults and eight children ranging in age from 7 years to 6 weeks, our family just naturally makes noise. A lot of noise! Cody (who grew up as an only child and married Kristin) is still adapting.
Ava demonstrated her new talent of walking with unsteady steps for several different adults. If anyone lost interest too quickly, she would grab the couch or coffee table, steady herself, throw up pudgy hands and cheer, "TaDa!" I couldn't help smiling each time I saw the routine repeated.
Eventually, the older cousins all moved to the kitchen. They were laughing and having fun. I caught sight of Ava just as she started moving toward them. Arms in the air as a counter balance. Monumental effort. One uncertain step. Now another. Her eyes fixed on the group of older children which was her chosen destination.
Suddenly, Ava just stopped. Then she dropped to all fours and took off crawling toward the kitchen at warp speed.
It was apparent that the new mode of transportation (walking) just wasn't moving her quickly enough. She reverted to what was more familiar (crawling.) I laughed at first, then realized she had just reminded me of a valuable lesson.
We all prefer to stick with what we know best.
Trying new things takes a lot of effort; courage even. Sometimes, the new thing doesn't develop as easily or as quickly as we had expected. At that moment, it just seems to make more sense for us to go back to what has always been familiar. Ditch the new. It's just too hard.
But practice is necessary in any new venture. If we hope to improve, we must practice. We must risk failure on our way to success.
Ava falls on her bottom routinely. She is definitely restricted by trying to walk. And don't forget, new is scarey! But everyone around her continues to cheer each faltering step she attempts because we know how wonderful walking will be when she finally masters it.
Ava's lesson was the final push I needed to try something new myself.
Some friends (and my family) had been urging me to try Facebook live. People get on there all the time for a variety of reasons. Some sell, some rant, some tell funny stories. It costs nothing and provides instant access to everyone on your friend list. (And beyond if others share.)
So, with the story of Ava (and it's implications) duly noted, I determined to give it a try. You would have laughed out loud if you had seen how nervous I was. I must have left my office four times while trying to work up my nerve. Meagan had to give me a tutorial on how to "Go Live" then turn it back off. (I promptly forgot that part and everyone got a good look up my nose while i searched for the "end" button.)
But I Did It! I took my first stumbling steps toward a live post.
I tried. It certainly wasn't perfect. I forgot several of the things I wanted to say. I looked at the wrong spot the entire time. I couldn't stop to acknowledge people saying Hello because I was so fearful of losing my train of thought. But I told Ava's lesson on Facebook live.
The great part is that several people commented saying it really spoke to them. Exactly what I'd hoped for most. One friend wrote a private message expressing her thoughts and cheering with me for the brave new step. Hearing from her made all my nerves worth it.
Many of you reading this have something new YOU should be stepping out to try. But fear of the unknown has kept you from moving forward. Try anyway! You have something to share that will encourage others. Make the effort. So what if it's not perfect. You very well may succeed and surprise yourself.
I promise that if you need encouragement, I'll be here to cheer with you, 'TA DA!!"
We would love to hear about the brave new thing you want to begin in the comment section. Or perhaps you would share your favorite "learning to walk" story from children or grands.