Sunday, March 25, 2007

2007 Spring Fling - Part II

Okay, now some other observations specific to my children:
* I'm not sure I shared this story last year... We went to Easter Brunch at a different country club last year. Ryann was 1 1/2 at the time and absolutely terrified of the Easter Bunny. Terrified. At one point she was holding onto the table with white knuckles and trembling because she was so scared. Me and my friend Bling Bling and Jenny witnessed this and laughed and laughed and laughed (okay, Jenny didn't since she was right next to Ryann - she actually picked her up and hugged her, Bling Bling and I were across the table). So the Easter Bunny was there. She was brave enough to walk past him, but didn't want to have anything to do with shaking his hand, hugging him or getting anywhere near him:)

* Nora did really well with her modeling and singing. She hit her marks perfectly, waved nicely, sat nicely while waiting to sing, sang all the words and did all of the motions. Sometimes it is very evident to me that she is an oldest child in the midst of many non-oldest children - that night was definitely one of them. She sat very quietly in her chair waiting to sing and watching the other models. Other kids, on the other hand, were jumping up every time the crowd clapped, were falling off of their seats, were waving to their moms and dads. I would like to take credit for this and just say that she is a perfectly behaved child, but I think the oldest thing has more to do with it - seeing her make her marks was also very convincing in that regard. I am looking forward to seeing how Ryann and Georgia act in their own Spring Flings.

* When I dropped Nora off in the room of kids before the show, there was a BUNCH of kids running around the room. I dropped her off and went to find seats, thinking nothing of it. After a couple of minutes I decided to go tell her that we weren't able to sit in the front like she had requested. I stood in the doorway looking for her in the mass of chaos that was running around the room. She was standing by herself away from everyone else with a very quiet look on her face. My heart broke - I knew EXACTLY what she was feeling. Overwhelmed. Uncomfortable. Awkward. Not included. I could feel it myself for those few moments that I looked at her - my chest is kind of tightening right now even remembering it. I immediately went over to her, gave her a hug and told her how pretty she looked. She started crying - I could tell it was a release of all the feelings that she had and I felt so bad for her. Her two best friends were not there - Nicole and Olivia. Olivia showed up almost immediately and Nora ran to her and gave her a BIG hug.

I know that feeling too well - it is how I feel, even now at 30 years old, in a situation like that. In fact, I felt that way just the other day at the hospital cafeteria. It was very crowded and full of people with scrubs and white doctors coats on. As I looked around for a table, I felt like everyone was staring at me. I felt completely out of place and like everyone was wondering what the heck I was doing there. Overwhelmed. That is such a good word - overwhelmed. I also felt that way as I was looking for a table for all of us to sit at during the program. There were soooo many people there, the room was crowded, there was excitement in the air and it was all a bit smothering to me. Overwhelmed.

So I empathize with my little Nora. Her face, her posture, where she was standing said it all to me... And I realized how often we, as parents, do that to our kids - just drop them off somewhere and not think twice about how uncomfortable they might be. Nursery. Preschool. The bus. I guess I just figured that kids are kids - they just jump in and start playing. Nora isn't shy, but it really hit me that night that she is introverted like her mom and I need to be aware of it, remember it, and empathize with it.

I'm reading a GREAT book right now, lent to me by a friend: "The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World". I feel like the author is standing in front of me reading my mind, my heart and my emotions. It is as spot on as anything could be - amazing. I will blog more about that in another post sometime, but I bring it up to say that being an introvert does NOT mean being shy and based on this book it is clear to me that Nora is an introvert like me. I need to be sensitive to that for her.


Mommy Brain 7:43 AM  

It's an amazing moment when you look at your child and for the first time see them differently...grown up, full of emotions, full of ideas and experiencing life apart from you. It happens multiple times as your kids grow and yet every time it does it takes my breath away. It's such a shift from seeing them as babies or toddlers who need our direction; to individuals who also need our listening ear. Your baby is growing are such a good mom for noticing and finding a new place in her are now mommy and friend.

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