"Mom, I just can't go any further!" my daughter Jenna blurts out.
We took the family on a leisurely ten mile bike ride this weekend through the Peninsula State Park in Door County, Wisconsin. The fall weather was absolutely perfect and the colors were incredible. Jenna does not have a bike with gear speed changes on it so she was getting a little tired out on some of the hills. She started to get really whiny and such about a third of the way through. I tried to console her that we could stop and take a break so she could regain her strength. If she would of had a million dollars, she would of paid that to go back to the car. She really was not having much fun at all. I told her that she was going to have to deal with it because we had been looking forward to a day out like this for a long time.
She continued on her bike ...tweeting a few "Mom, my legs hurt so much", "My legs are going to fall off Mom!" and "Mom, I've got to stop for a bit." Eventually we came upon a tourist Light House and decided to take a little longer break. As we walked up the path to the light house, I decided to give her a little wisdom while we held hands. "Jenna, you know, this may seem like one of the hardest days that you have ever had but your perseverance will give you a great satisfaction once you have finished the bike ride." She quickly asked "Mom, what is perseverance?" I reply to her, "Well, perseverance is when you feel like you have given your all but you know you still have to keep on going. Even with all of that hard work, you push every bit of energy out that you have to finish the task at hand. Then once you have finished you feel like you have accomplished something great because as you reflect back at the beginning when you really felt like you couldn't. It is just a great feeling of satisfaction knowing that you have finished. I'm sure you will feel like that at the end of our bike ride." She stops, and looks at me with careful consideration blurting out in a bold demanding monotone voice, "ah, Mom, (*her taking a deep breath) seriously... I will not..."
I could not help but laugh at that reply she gave me. I looked at her face and how certain and confident she was....it just made me want to giggle. She sure has a confidence in her that I wish I would of had at the age of seven.
Amazingly enough, we did finish our bike ride and her legs did not fall off!
The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; the optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.