The sun is shining and I’m feeling good because summer has arrived!  No more morning hustle to get the kids off to school, no more making lunches and no more homework.  The kids are also excited because it’s time for swimming, long walks, bike rides, relaxing afternoons with friends, running in the yard, summer camps and all things fun.  The countdown has been on at our house for the last 6 weeks and now the time is finally here.  But, what the kids didn’t anticipate during the countdown were the chores, the studying, reading books and the book reports to make sure that they retain what they’ve learned throughout the year.  Yes, you read that right, I did say summer includes chores!

For my youngest, chores is the equivalent of a four letter word. But, as his mother, I felt it was my duty to remind him that with this great summer comes great responsibilities.  He is now old enough to share the load…a load of dishes that is.  Usually my oldest has the job of emptying and filling the dishwasher.  Well, hallelujah, now she has more help!  Unfortunately, he doesn’t share the same sense of joy as everyone else.  As you can imagine, he was intimidated by the daunting task of scrubbing plates and loading the dishwasher.  Also, as you can imagine, there was a lot of crying.

He cried because he couldn’t fit them all in.  He cried because he couldn’t get all of the hardened oatmeal off of the bowl.  He cried because he couldn’t reach different shelves.  But, mostly, he cried because the task before him was new and he was daunted by such a new responsibility.  He cried and secretly hoped that I would relent and say, “Ok, I’ll do it.”  He cried and whimpered that it was just too hard.  And so, I came beside him and encouraged him.  I showed him how to fit dishes into the dishwasher like a puzzle.  I told him that it is hard, but it will get easier.  But the best thing that I did for him was to make him follow through and complete the job.  The second-best thing that I did was repeatedly chant, “There’s no crying in trying!”  I do have to admit that although I thought my chant was clever and appropriate, he did not.  Through his muffled tears, I also had him chant, “There is no crying in trying.” His disapproval of my chant secretly made me laugh inside more, but I digress.    

Well, we made it!  Our new mantra, there is no crying in trying, got us through his first load of dishes.  There is no crying in trying is a mantra that can get any and all of us through any daunting task that we may face.  From taking on a new responsibility at work to trying to lose weight to deciding to go skydiving.  Whatever intimidating task comes your way, just remember, there is no crying in trying.  Crying doesn’t make the task any easier.  But trying to completion brings great pride and joy in accomplishment.  Stay encouraged, stay motivated, keep trying and journey on because there is no crying in trying.    

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