Learning to Pump Your Legs

It’s hard; it’s flipping hard! New challenges are a bitch. For my daughter, who is almost four years old, the struggle this summer is teaching her how to pump her legs on the swing so she can drive herself upwards; she can’t get it. She thrashes her legs and cries, screaming at me to push her rather than continue trying to figure it out herself. It is easier to ask for help; which is ironic. Sometimes we are too stubborn or ashamed to ask for help, yet other times asking for help it is a crutch. I suppose it’s up to us, as adults, to figure out which scenario we fall prey.

Thinking my daughter is a quitter, I continue to give her gentle shoves. She continues to try but gives up within seconds and wails for assistance. Sometimes I wonder if she will ever learn how to swing by herself. I suppose giving her a push that makes me an enabler. My husband knows there are things I don’t like to do, and he willingly does them for me. Example, going to a kid’s birthday party where we don’t know anyone. My social anxiety sends out an SOS, and my husband steps up. I feel a bit bad about that, but not so bad that I’m going to offer to go to the next birthday party. In general, he hates these things too; he just hates them less than I do.

With school, self-teaching, and practice, I am working on my goal to become a better writer, a more successful writer. There are times I want to quit; I tell myself I can’t do this, there are people out there with more experience and they are better than I am. That’s not fake news. There are people with more skills; it’s pretty obvious. Will that stop me – maybe some days – but not for long.

When I was a young girl I learned how to pump my legs and swing; I’m sure my parents tried to teach me the fundamentals of force and gravity, just as I have tried to teach my daughter. Feel your weight as you pull yourself up with the swing, throwing your legs in front and then tucking them back. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

I can pump my legs and swing, but I didn’t learn to do it overnight. She will get it too and when she does, we will celebrate!


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