Lovey has always been a cautious child. She’s what people would call “Slow to warm up”. She is often the child clinging to my arm or standing behind me. She used to say “No” when someone asked her name. Honey and I work hard to parent her in a way that works for her, not necessarily the other way around. We need to take special care with her as her emotions are her guiding force. We strive to meet her where she is, and guide her along until she feels comfortable to go it alone. It’s hard work and there are times we feel we are making very slow progress towards fostering her confidence and independence. Once she’s comfortable though, there really is no stopping her. She immediately took to gymnastics and has never looked back. She will proudly show off the skills she learns in class every week. Conversely, she is the same kid who asked her teacher to tell me to stop asking what she did at school every day because it was annoying.
We are members of a large church in Hartford. Lovey has happily attended Sunday School there for years and has friends in her small group. As much as she enjoys her time with these kids, she has always been very hesitant. Often Honey or I will need to walk her to class and sometimes she will ask us to stay. She chose not to participate in the Christmas pageant because she would have to perform in front of the whole church. Which bring us to Palm Sunday. The tradition at our church is that the children lead the processional into church waving their palms. They were then going to sing a song in front of the congregation; something Lovey had originally said she wouldn’t do. I stood in the back of the church waiting for the procession to start so that I could walk with Lovey and I could see her getting agitated. I asked her if she wanted me to hold her hand and she said “No Mommy, go sit down.” So I asked her if she wanted me to walk with her and she said “Go sit with Daddy”. So I did, but I was nervous. She proceeded to march proudly down the center aisle of the church and sit in a side pew with her friends. And then, as if I wasn’t brimming with pride already, she stood in front of the entire congregation and sang her heart out. I will admit to having a huge smile on my face and a tear in my eye.