Heels by the TrampolineAngelina Lee
We went to my parents’ home for a quick visit the other day. Within minutes of arriving, my littlest love asked earnestly whether we could go to a nearby park in the neighbourhood to jump on the trampoline. When I told her that I didn’t think it was a good idea she got visibly upset and retorted her famous phrase, “Because why not?”
“Look at what you’re wearing!” I replied. “You didn’t come prepared to go out in the park.”
Clearly my littlest love thought that I was being difficult. I begged to differ.
You see, she wasn’t wearing ordinary clothes. She was donning one of her favourite princess dresses. And as if that wasn’t enough, she was wearing a pair of kids’ high heel shoes that were about four sizes too big for her. I hadn’t bothered to make her change before leaving the house because we were just popping over to my parents’ home briefly. A visit to the park wasn’t in the plans. Not in my plans, at least.
“Mummy, please!” she continued, and then her bottom lip made a convincing appearance. She begged with such gusto that my heart melted for this littlest love who had been relegated to playing indoors for far too long.
“Just for a little bit.” I conceded. She pranced around in excitement and we headed out the door.
When we got to the trampoline, she took off her shoes, I lifted her up and in, and she began to jump.
Boy, did she jump! I watched on in amazement as this pint sized love defied gravity and bounced higher and higher with each leap. The sheer joy on her face was contagious and I felt my heart expanding as she soared freely with wind in her hair and a hearty laugh on her lips.
My gaze shifted to the edge of the trampoline. Perched ever so gracefully at the entrance of the trampoline were her oversized heels. I couldn’t help but smile. I again looked at my littlest love and was captivated by her bountiful curls rising and falling while her elegant princess gown all but swallowed her up with her vigorous movements.
In that moment, I was so happy that she didn’t take ‘no’ for an answer.
In that moment, I felt proud that she insisted that she was ready to jump, even if I asserted otherwise.
In that moment, I vowed never to tell her that she wasn’t ready ever again.
I thought of the very many times that I have told myself that I wasn’t prepared for something. That I somehow needed to show up differently in order to be ready. That the shoes that I sought to fill were far too oversized for my fearful feet.
I thought of the false messages of mass conformity that we have been fed.
Messages that tell us we must show up in a certain way in order to have access to the things we want to achieve.
Messages that tell us that we need to change first before we can take a leap.
Messages that tell us that we can be ourselves…as long as we fit in.
Watching my love jump confidently without any regard for the perceived limitations that I tried to place on her was awe-inspiring. She showed up. Just as she was. And she jumped to her little heart’s content.
And now I know that that’s exactly what I want.
I want to refuse to listen to that critic within – even if it insists that I must change before I can take a leap.
I want to jump with confidence in my ability and in my capacity to grow – even if the shoes that I seek to fill appear to be many sizes too big.
I want to show up. Fully. Authentically. And vibrantly – even if, in so doing, I feel ill prepared or less than enough.
As we walked back to my parents’ home, I noticed my love stride with authority. I again smiled, this time full of gratitude that even though her shoes were far too big for her, she had somehow inspired me to walk in her footsteps.