“I don’t want to go to tennis,” my five year old daughter whimpered...
“Hold on, “I said. “Only this morning you were telling me how much you wanted to go.”
“But I don’t want to go now!” she insisted, getting more and more upset.
“But yesterday you were saying how much you wanted mummy and daddy to buy you a tennis racket for Christmas,” I protested.
“But anyway!” she blurted out her latest protest phrase. “I don’t even want to go today!”
Time for a different tack, I thought.
“Come here,” I said and I sat her on my knee.
“We signed you up for tennis lessons because you told us that you really wanted to go. You told us how much you enjoyed the tennis course you did over the summer holidays. You told us you didn’t want to do ballet anymore and that you wanted to do tennis.”
She nodded, calming down a little, “but I want to do gymnastics now.”
“Well that’s OK but you need to finish this term of tennis first. If at Christmas, you still want to change to gymnastics then you can move next term. It’s very important that you follow through on your commitments.”
She nodded. Life lesson number one absorbed.
“And, I think you’re really brave for going to tennis today.”
She looked at me a little quizzically.
“Do you know what brave means?”
She muttered something about “not being afraid.”.
“Being brave isn’t not being afraid. It’s when you do something even though you are afraid. Real bravery is having the courage to overcome fear,” I explained. “I’ll be really proud of you for being brave if you go to tennis.” Life lesson number two.
“OK,” she said. “But daddy stay with me.”
Alright I said, giving her a big hug.
As we bundled out of the door for the lesson, five minutes late I looked up at the sky. Black and ominous clouds hovered above.
As we entered the club, the heavens opened and it started raining. Hard.
I stood in the pouring rain for an hour a fifteen minutes watching my darling galavanting around on court playing some semblance of the game known as tennis as I went from damp, to wet to aquatic.
The lesson finally finished and Meri skipped over to me.
“I can’t wait to go to tennis next week!” She said. “I wish I could come and play tomorrow!”
“Hold on,” I said. “Isn’t gymnastics in doors…?”