Monday, November 12, 2018

On Cheering For Each Other

Confession: I do not like school carnivals.

My dislike for school carnivals runs so passionately deep that I've been known to equate attending one to being banished to one of Dante's circles of hell! (Intense, right?) Screaming and yelling and crying kids; over-priced concessions (why does this can of Coke cost three dollars?!); hot, sweaty gyms that smell like farts and popcorn...Not my cup of tea! I usually leave a school carnival with a thumping headache and a twitchy eyelid.

We recently attended a carnival for my children's school. It was the stuff of my nightmares. Giant inflatable slides and bounce house-like obstacle courses--as well as a bazillion people--all stuffed into a way-too-warm and stifling school gym. Oye!

As soon as my curly-headed Bridget saw the inflatable slide, she was determined to go down it. She grabbed my hand, pointed to the slide, and said, "Look at that! I want to go down it."

"Well, I want a Xanax right now...but we can't always have what we want."

JUST KIDDING! I did NOT say that! Instead, and after looking at the slide, I said, "Bridgey, are you sure?"

Because the slide was as tall and as steep as Everest, you guys. I'm not kidding. (Kind of kidding.) But it did reach (terrifyingly) to the top of the school gym. You had to climb and climb a steep ladder to get to the top, and then once there it was a veryveryvery steep whoooooooosh all the way down.

Bridget was determined and so I paid for her ticket. I watched her adorable, teeny-tiny bottom as she slowly and steadily made her way to the top. I watched her sit before the behemoth mouth of the descent. And then I waited.

I waited for five minutes.

I waited for ten minutes.

I waited for fifteen minutes.

At the fifteen minute mark I turned to that dreamboat-of-a-man I'm married to and said, "I don't think she's coming down. Someone is going to have to go up there and get her."

In the many minutes I waited for Bridget to come down the slide, a small crowd started to congregate. Another mother and her daughter whom I did not know. One of my neighbors. A couple of Lilly's friends, and then, eventually, Lilly. Everyone wanted to know what was going on; everyone resigned that the way to get Bridget to come down was to band together and cheer her on. I watched as many voices from many ages came together to chant, "Bridget! Bridget!," and to yell, "You can do it! It will be okay! You can do it!"

And then...she went down.

It was beautiful.

Sisters! We can choose to yell, "You can do it!" We can choose to love. We can choose to hold the hands that hang down and encourage our sisters who are scared. We must choose championing over stagnancy because we desperately need each other to move to a higher and more sacred sphere of living. We need to rise up and show up, in all our inadequacies and limited abilities, because the very women in our lives can't face their trials, can't overcome their heart-pain, can't go down that symbolic slide without us.

It's our blessing to cheer them on.



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