My children constantly teach me about persistence. They show me that no matter how many times you fail, you should keep trying and don't ever accept a "no" for something you really want.
Anyone with children knows what I mean about not accepting "no" for an answer. Big sister will ask 20 times in an hour if she can play with the neighbor girl even though we have already told her no 20 times. She always thinks that upon request 21, we will relent and change our minds. Occasionally we do, which is probably why she keeps asking.
Little Sister is at the stage when a no answer is almost devastating. She'll ask for a piece and candy. I'll tell her no and she'll go open the closet door and look longingly at the candy box, hoping upon hope that I will change my mind.
This persistence pays off in other ways as well.
Big Sister for one has been taking swimming lessons on and off for three years now. We started at the park pool with Red Cross lessons. She didn't quite get it.
Then, we tried lessons at the high school through a different program. She learned a little better, but we still weren't comfortable with her being in the water without a life jacket. So, we decided to try one more time (at the persistent request of Big Sister) with lessons at the school.
She finally got it. Instead of flailing about aimlessly, she started swimming. She is now a real honest to goodness kick-with-your-feet and stroke-with-your-arms swimmer. We're very proud of her.
And last, but not least, Little Sister's attempt at ballet beginning to shine. This one hasn't taken quite as long. We just put her in lessons in February.
The beautiful Wife and I were never sure what she was getting out of the class. When we would go in the room to observe, Little Sister got very shy and just stood in the middle of the room looking at the floor. It was no done deal that she would do any kind of dancing when it came time for a mini-recital on Saturday.
But, she put away her shyness in front of the crowd and followed along with the motions of her dance.
Now, I just hope I can remember the lessons of persistence my children are teaching me.