Sometimes being a parent is so tough that you take the good news where you can get it. And sometimes, if you step back and just let the good roll over you, you get inspired all over again to kick some serious hiney as a mom (or dad). That's what 13-year-old Abbey Watson and her powerlifting world records have done for me.
You read that right. Watson is a 13-year-old girl. She's still in middle school. She weighs in at 105 pounds. And she can pick up things that weigh more than me. But it's now how Abbey does it that has recharged my mom batteries. It's why.
Very simply: No one ever told her not to. As her coach, Jonathan Sabar, says:
I think the reason Abbey is lifting weight that surpasses adults is because she's never been told she can't do it.
Oh, thank goodness! Finally some affirmation for the power of being supportive parents. It works, it works. It really works! Just check this girl out!
I've got to say, the recent backlash against praising our kids, lest they develop too much self-esteem (apparently there is such a thing?), has really been killing my mom mojo. I am not trying to elevate my kid above everything else in this world, but as a human being, I know a little "hey, you know, you are just awesomesauce" can be the difference between an OK day and fantastic one. Heck, it can be the difference between an absolutely craptastic day and one that doesn't make you want to drown your sorrows in a pint of Ben & Jerry's.
We need more supportive parents, frankly, and stories like Abbey's to keep us going. The bevy of Oscar noms for the hit movie The Help has helped secure a place in the national lexicon for the empowering words of nanny Abileen to her charge. "You is kind, you is smart, you is important" may not be grammatically correct, but it's a perfect counterbalance to the naysayers.
When my kid comes to me, frustrated about something in life, I think it's better to tell her to try, try, try again instead of flushing her hopes and dreams down the toilet. Can she do everything? Probably not. But she definitely can't do anything if she doesn't at least try.
This is what I get from Abbey Watson's story. She walked into the gym with her dad as a sixth grader with no intention of lifting, but when she spied the weights, her dad said, "Why not?" And a star was born.
I'm going to try saying "why not" more from here on out. How about you?
Image via KUSA