Two weeks ago, my Lola turned 7.
Yep, that's my Lola. Energetic. Dramatic. Smiley. Happy. A little off-balance. But determined. Fun. A teensy bit crazy.
This has been an amazing summer for countless reasons, but many of the highlights thus far have involved Lola learning new skills, such as underwater swimming and alphabetizing.
Something shifted in her this spring, when she stepped onto that two-wheeled bike and got it. She was oh-so-close last year, having dropped the training wheels for most of the straight-aways but she never quite mastered the whole concept of balance. But when she stepped on that bike earlier this year and figured it all out, so very quickly, you could see it click. She got it.
She laughed and laughed that day, and many times afterward. "Mommy you were so right!" she said (why didn't I record that?!). "As soon as I figured it out, it was so easy!"
When she asked for rollerblades for her birthday, I was a bit hesitant. Not because I was afraid she would get hurt -- that's kind of a given in Lola's world -- but because I didn't want her to get hurt and walk away from them before giving them, or herself, a chance. She's had so many successes lately and I can see and hear how very proud she is of herself right now.
But I'm all for outside fun and exercise... And it seems cruel to give someone rollerblades for Christmas...
So she got them, less than two weeks ago.
She started with us holding her up by the armpits. Then, we held her hands. Then her hand. Then a finger. Day by day, inch by inch, she improved.
But it was more than that. For the first time I really saw her pushing herself to do better.
Tonight, she fell for the first times. The first two drops weren't bad, just right on her rear end. She quickly popped back up.
The third time, though, she landed backward on her elbow, scraping it up pretty good. She yelped and then quickly swallowed a would-be cry, clenching her teeth.
"OK, Mommy," she nodded. "Yeah, I think, I should wear those elbow pads now."
(I've insisted on the helmet, the knee pads and the hand guards, but I let her "win" one with the elbow pads.)
She was banged up, not too badly but bad enough for 10 minutes before bedtime. I told her we could either go one more circle around the driveway or head on inside. No pressure either way.
She grabbed the elbow pads.
One last time.
She's such a great kid. We are so proud of who she is and who she is becoming.