My baby intentionally rolls over from his back to his belly with ease. He does it again the next day. Then, he doesn’t do it again for more than a week—often just kicking his legs up and down feverishly and struggling to get onto his side.
I walk to the door to find my daughter fully dressed, zipper up on her coat and her shoes on the right feet. The next day, she struggles to even start the zipper on her coat. She can’t figure out her shoes. All in all, there are still more days than not that she needs help.
In both cases, my children are completely unfazed. My baby happily kicks his legs, eventually rolling back over to his belly with even more strength. Even through some frustration, my daughter tries her zipper every morning, asking for help when she can’t get it just right. And, on those mornings she does it all herself, she beams proudly.
These are just two of an endless supply of examples. Children are constantly falling down and picking themselves up with little fanfare. Continuing to try, and try again, even when it takes a hundred times. Even when what they could do yesterday is a struggle today. Non-linear progress is just a part of their everyday life.
It had me thinking: when did I forget that growth is not linear? At what point did I start believing progress should be a straight shot upwards? I hadn’t realized how long this notion was part of my conditioning.
As usual, my children are my best teachers.
Instead, I should honor the wobbles, the times I fall down, or just can’t get something right. Because, on the other side, is where the real growth happens.