“Just Try It, Mama” or Lessons from the 5-Year Old

by Joanna Pineda Posted on September 22, 2009

Sunset Band graphic I have a rule when it comes to food: you have to try it before you render judgment. This is a rule that my husband and I have impressed on our son from the time he was little.  My mantra: Don’t tell me you don’t like it; you have to try it first.  In fact, I say this a lot when it comes to just about everything: food, places, experiences.  So imagine my surprise when CJ turned the tables on me and started saying, “Just try it, mama!”

I had purchased Rock Band for the PS3 a few months ago after borrowing the game from a friend and falling in love with it.  Even though I know I’m not good at it, I love to sing, so my natural inclination was to sing.  For weeks, I would practice singing and even taught CJ to sing a couple of songs (Eye of the Tiger and Tempted).  One day, CJ said, “Mama, you should try drums.”  My immediate reaction was, “No, thanks, I like to sing.” Then CJ said, “Mama, just try it!”

And that’s when I realized I was operating in my comfort zone. I’d never contemplated playing drums in my life, much less on Rock Band.  But, wanting to set a good example for my son, I gave it a shot.  Guess what?  I’m terrible at it, but I love it.  I love it so much that I want to get better and now I want to try my hand at guitar.  Imagine that.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago.  I’m driving back from a weekend trip with my son, with my husband Maki in a separate car.  Maki recently got his ham radio license; he’s actually passed all three tests.  He gave me and CJ a radio and promised he’d try to transmit messages to us from his car.  Since I don’t have my license, I could not transmit back.  CJ said, “Mama, I want to get my license so I can talk to daddy.  You should get your license, too.”  Again, my immediate reaction was “No, thanks, I have enough to do in my life without studying for a ham radio test!”

But over the next week, I got to thinking.  Why not step out of my comfort zone and go for it? How cool would it be for me to pass the test and be able to actually broadcast?  It might be kind of cool to learn about amateur radio stations, transponder signals and amperes.  And what a great message to send to my son!  So, this past weekend, I asked Maki to pull out the flash cards.  I’ve mastered 1/4 of the questions and hope to take the test in November.  Wish me luck.

How about you?  Have you stepped out of your comfort zone lately?  What have you always wanted to do or try and just need the excuse to do so?  C’mon, if I can study for the ham radio test, you can do something out of the ordinary as well!

8 replies on ““Just Try It, Mama” or Lessons from the 5-Year Old”

This is how I did two years of improv. Challenged by a five year old to try something new and out of the box. And she was right.

Great post. First off, I love the rule about having to try the food before passing judgement. I was one of those kids who never got to have run of the mill meatloaf, and mac and cheese. My mom is a great cook, and highly experimental in the kitchen, so I’d come home from my schoolmates’ houses, as they were ordering pizza for dinner, to find my family’s dinner table set with some kind of calamari concoction, Malaysian chicken, or grilled bananas and mango chutney-and ALWAYS had to “try” it. Years later I am grateful for my foodie mom’s adventuresome cooking and “just try it” mantra. Plus, once I turned 8 we got a dog, who my brother and I quickly realized, if I didn’t like what was on the table after “just trying it” Indiana Jones (my dog) never refused a table scrap or two… 🙂

My comfort zone is painting, fly fishing, reading, quiet things that don’t involve big crowds. In terms of public speaking, I have always been a bit more on the shy side, and struggled with public speaking. So it has always been a goal of mine to up and hold a crowd with confidence…(or at least a dinner table, or a conference room full of co-workers). Maybe something like Toast Masters is in my future?

Cheers! and good luck with your ham radio test!

All these improv comments are a riot. I’ve been “thinking about” jumping in for a few years. Recently I read a post by Boaz (tinyurl.com/myyjb9) where the bottom line was “don’t hesitate.” Last night I was in my first of an 8-session improv for beginners program! The effect is already surprising.

We’ve discovered the fountain of youth in our kids– how wonderful! (Although after taking on my daughter’s challenge of doing a back-walkover, my body won’t ever be the same…)

I am just thrilled to hear that other parents have been inspired by their kids to try something new and different. And how interesting that so many of you are doing improv!

I think every parent’s goal is to be a good teacher and parent to their kids, but it seems that often times, it’s the kids who turn out to be our best teachers! I’ll keep you all posted on the drumming and the ham radio test.

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