The older my sweet girl gets, the more I’m recognizing her need for independence, her need to be lauded for her her humor, her individuality. I can’t put her in a box and assume her personality traits of last year, last month or even last week still hold true.
She is changing. She is evolving. She knocks me over in surprise each day with her cataclysmic emotions. Joy one moment, tragedy the next – both equally as real in her mind.
Though she *has* been a realitively shy child, it doesnt mean she always will embrace a timid nature. And that means I, as her mother, cannot react in shock when she does speak up, make eye contact or make the first move with a new friend. I must smile inwardly and tell her privately that night that I’m proud of how strong she has become.
This small girl has always been an athlete. Her fashion sense has best been described as fun and quirky. She’d rather wear soccer shorts and mismatched socks than a skirt any day. And clothes that match? Never a concern.
Until today. Today I was suddenly faced with a little girl who was desperate to find something ‘that matched’. And why? Her words: ‘so no one will make fun of me’. I will confess, I was dumbfounded. In the past, I’ve had to fight her to match and suddenly, her sweet voice was laced with tears as she waded through her closet, rejecting everything I suggested.
She’s growing up. And her sense of individuality is purely her own. What ‘matches’ to her is specific. Her fears of not fitting in are real.
I believe I need to respect it all, encourage her to be comfortable in her own skin and help her to embrace her own growing individuality.
This parenting business is not for the weak.
How do you do it?