I grew up living on a lake. From as early as I can remember, my dad taught me to skip stones--how to find good skipping stones, how to hold your wrist and fling it for the most amount of skips over the water, before it sinks in. To this day, when I see a nice flat stone, I think, "Now, that's a good skipping stone."
My son is six. I've tried teaching him to skip over the years, but he's never been able to get down the wrist movement. He tries really hard, but in the end, he clunks it into the water with a plop. But, you know ... he's six. No big deal. He's got plenty of time to learn.
Thing is, he gets really frustrated with himself. He wants to be able to skip those stones. He wants it really bad. He tries really hard. But since he's been trying, it just hasn't happened. A couple weeks ago in Germany, we were having a picnic near a stream, and there were lots of pebbles and stones. He was wading in the water and pulled up a nice flat stone the size of a small pancake.
Right away, I said, "That's a perfect skipping stone."
His eyes widened. He turned it over in his little hands, examining it. And then he gave it a good fling. That stone skipped at least six times across the surface. It seemed like slow motion--the way it danced across the placid stream in tiny splashes, then finally sunk to the bottom. My son's face was pure and simple joy. So poetic.
Of course, I cheered like any mom would. I was so proud, and it was such a great moment. He was proud too and had to make doubly sure I saw exactly what had happened. All that time, he'd been trying so hard to skip stones and it just wan't happening. Til the one day, he was relaxed and enjoying himself--happy and content--and not trying so hard. And it happened.
Life is like that, I think. Sometimes we just have to ease up on the reins ... stop trying so hard to catch that butterfly, so that it comes and sits right on your shoulder.
Do you have any moments like that? Please share ...