Back to shoe tying. Yes, prayer and quiet life in the country have been slowly building in me the abilities needed to patiently teach my children. That is to say prayer, country living, and a big slice of humble pie. You see, I pulled up a youtube video just to use as a teaching aide before we entered into this learning adventure. Turns out, there's a new way to tie shoes. So far's I know, that makes three ways you can tie a shoe. There's the right way (the way I learned). There's the two bunny ears crossed under each other way. Then, there's this new way. Magic fingers it's called. Here it is, if you're so inclined:
Looks super easy, right? Always trying to be hip and in the know with the latest shoe lace tying teaching styles, I decided to give it a whirl before I took my instruction to the streets. I worked diligently, but I might as well have been trying to tie my shoes with ten frozen thumbs using only my upside-down reflection to guide me because it just. didn't. work. I tried and tried. Well, for about 45 seconds anyways, before stopping out of embarrassment and on account of I was hungry. I learned an important lesson this day:
Learning is so hard when you're old!!!
Which led me to realize this:
Learning is so hard when you're young!!!
Which makes it just so great to see how much my kids love learning! They get this from me, of course. And, which makes me just that much more empathetic as I teach them, waiting patiently as they flip out in frustration (having just done this as a 35-year old myself), willing my tremoring hand to stay by my side and let them struggle through and fail, when it wants to just jump in and just finish off the knot for them. And then, this morning, much faster than this old brain would have mastered such a novel task... success. E came running in from the mudroom, one daintily tied shoe on her foot.
"Mom! Mom! Look!" she called, breathless. "I tied it myself!"
"What?! That's awesome! Let me see! Can you do the other shoe??"
"Yes! Watch!" I followed her out into the mudroom and sat to watch. I was nearing critical lateness for work, but this was a moment. A real moment. The first shoe tie. E struggled to recreate what she'd just done moments ago. She tried once. Then twice. Maybe it was something about her jumpy handed mother hovering over her and breathing coffee breath down her neck that threw her off her game but soon she was kicking her shoe off in a fit of rage. Now, back in potty training days, I might have responded with the like, but this was the wiser and more restrained Christi. I kept my calm, retrieved her shoe and helped her through, holding the bunny ear in place and gently instructing her through a proper loop around and pull through once she had regained herself.
By the time we got to the sitter, E was over her frustration, and now reveling in her initial success which she excitedly shared with the sitter as soon as she entered her home.
"Wow, shoe tying! That's great!" the sitter eyed me respectfully. "Where did you learn to do that?" I smiled, doing my best to appear humble and not at all prideful as I knelt down and helped E out of her shoes.
"Oh, a video from the computer," she responded simply, standing up and walking past us on her way to a pile of princess dolls.
Ahem. Right then. Super lovely. I'll just sweep up that big mess of pride that's spilled all over the floor here and be on my way. Parental pride has been appropriately put in check.