Red is a perfectionist. He is cleverer than clever, and that means his brain is a bit of a runaway train. The reality rarely matches the amazing visual he’d created in his head, and that can lead to anger and frustration when projects don’t pan out as he had planned them.
On the chairlift this weekend, he told me how upset he was that he had fallen on the last run, something he rarely does now. We were skiing knee-deep powder between trees on the side of a slope. He had face-planted, bad. Snow had been forced up his nostrils, and down the back of his jacket. He swatted at his helmet, trying to erase the snowy evidence of the fall, and the memory.
“I think it’s awesome,” I said, beaming at him. “That snow all over your helmet, that’s your badge of honor for today. I’m so proud of you for falling.”
He looked at me quizzically, still batting at the snow.
“If you fell, that means you were trying. Trying something outside your comfort zone, outside of what’s easy and safe for you, that you already know how to do. We all fall when we try new things, me and Dad too. How will you ever learn to ski powder if you don’t fall?”
He looked over at me, now smiling, and dropped his hand from his helmet. “You’re right. I’ll leave it.”