One afternoon in a moment of exhaustion, I laid out some scrap pieces of wood to make a balance beam for Emily. “Let’s do gymnastics!” I exclaimed with enthusiasm. Emily insisted that we also needed bars to hang on to do gymnastics. She has grown up seeing Aunt Christine in the gym and has a fairly clear picture of what gymnasts do for a two year old.
I insisted her desires weren’t an option in our house while racking my brain for possibilities. I settled on two chairs and the kitchen broom. “We’re doing an experiment?” Emily asked, a question that navigates us through the daily trial and error of home making. She strips off her pants so it looks like she is wearing a leotard.
I held the broom steady while Emily swung her legs back and forth and lifted them to her head. “Emily, I think you can do a flip if you move your legs a little big higher,” says the mom who doesn’t flip. Two tries later and Emily is smoothly flipping backwards over the bar, then putting her legs on to hang. A few days later and she slowly with great control lifts her legs to the bar, keeps her legs straight in the air, and then moves them over her head.
She inspires me. I’m so grateful for a daughter who loves and uses her body. She reminds me to love and take care of mine, no matter how much it hurts or has problems.