I watched Marie, then a toddler, try to pick up all her toys in one armful. She lost a stuffed bear or ball every time she added play food or a doll.
For the A to Z Challenge today, N is for Next. It’s in homage to growth, progress, and the journey, not just the destination. Next makes me think of Marie’s toddler struggle that day, although I’m sure she doesn’t remember it.
Her flowing brown hair fell in her face as she tried.
She lost her balance and toppled to the side. Everything fell to the ground. I stayed back. She tried again. She got close. She lost things again. Then, after more struggle, I could see it. Her endeavor shifted.
She wrapped her arms around her toys, adding more and holding it together.
She didn’t get everything in her arms that day, but she got enough.
I’ve found Next happen for my soccer players who master a move or score their first goal. I notice it in my daughters, who progress beyond my ability to coach them in the sport they love. I celebrate it in writers who grow with their words and unlock another Next.
Next often comes with complications.
It’s a smooth road turned curvy turned gravel and mud. It’s good health interrupted. It’s a slow descent, recognizable and seemingly inevitable.
It’s also a call, an email, a chance conversation that changes it all. Even if you make out the shape of Next, you might not detect its colors and textures yet. That’s okay. Next often emerges in brilliance we couldn’t have created on our own.
Tamara of Tamara (Like) Camera blog wrote of Life’s Awfully Big Adventure. The Adventure comes with more moving parts than Marie had toys. Elements stick and slip, settle in and stick out. When you labor to get your arms around it, you can’t see your Next.
As with Marie and my soccer players, I see the Next. I see it with better clarity than I see it for myself. I sit back and appreciate your journey to Next.
What about me?
My challenge: To be a good man, a role model and strength bearer, a confidant and protector and teacher, to my girls. To coach and guide, become a trusted corner, despite what my life’s record says about me.
My adventure: Living and learning it, growing myself, writing it in a blog that will be around for them long after I’m gone. It’s all in the next post, the next day, the next way to live my own challenge and adventure.
And try, like my little Marie, to wrap my arms around it.