Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Not Nervous at All

When you are the parent of a child, it is your job to be nervous for that child.

When the toddler is beginning to walk. When they hold your hand as you leave them at school on the first day. When the youth soccer player starts at goalie. When the teen takes the car out of town. When they take their SAT test, and their date to the prom, and their resume to a prospective employer.

It is your job to be nervous for your kid, but it is even more your job to not show that you are nervous.

"You can do it!" you cheer, trying not to flinch as he sits down hard after taking a couple of steps.

"You can do it!" you shout from the bleachers when his shoulders slump after the third goal is scored.

"You can do it!" you repeat for the tests, the interviews, the music contests and the thousands of other moments that go into raising a child up in the way he should go.

Still, you're always nervous. Have you taught him everything he needs to know? Have you given him the right tips, taught him how to tie his tie, cautioned him about speed traps and blind corners? Have you prepared him to be gracious after a win and resilient after a loss?

Then suddenly your child is doing something Really Big. All those nervous moments helped set the stage for this Really Big thing, and because he learned something from each of those other moments he's ready for this moment.

"You can do it," you whisper as you hand him to adulthood, and you realize you're not nervous at all.


  1. I cannot wait to reach that parenting milestone. I'm still firmly in the always nervous camp.