Friday, January 11, 2013

Starting new and starting over.

These pictures below were taken on January 11, 2011. Two years ago today. Bella had told us that she wanted to be a ballerina so that she "could do spins". She was three, almost four years old. We agreed, and signed her up for classes. My sweet, super shy girl could barely peel herself away from my side. She looked so small, and unsure.

Towards the end of the semester, she decided that she no longer wanted to be a ballerina, and didn't want to go back to dance class. We made an agreement, that she would finish, all the way through recital, and then it would be ok with us if she never wanted to go back.

Over the past few weeks, we have been asking Bella and Grady what activity they would like to learn this year. We gave them tons of choices; soccer, t-ball, karate, dance, gymnastics, etc... our only requirement was that it be something physically active, not like art or music (for right now).
As we explained the choices to Grady, Bryan gave him the details of what each sport would involve; "Running and kicking a ball into the goal... doing somersaults and flips and walking on the balance beam... kicking and punching" and then a huge smile mixed with a laugh came over him. And we had a winner.

And just like his sister on that day two years ago, he is nervous and shy. He seems so small, and his little heart so fragile. The instructors yell a lot, good stuff, like "Yeah! Great job!", but my little guy is not used to all of that yelling. He keeps thinking he's in trouble, and then starts crying and runs straight to me. Just like with Bella, it's gonna take a little time to be comfortable, and after his six week commitment, he may decide he never wants to go back. And that's ok with us. It's more about the experience of trying something new and the discipline of seeing it through.

Sister said she wanted to try dancing again. She insisted, even after several "are you sure?" questions. And this evening, a different girl, than the one from two years ago, walked into that room. She walked straight in, and didn't look back. As she walked, she smiled and said "hi" to new friends. It was not her talent and skill that impressed me the most tonight. It was just her. Her confidence, her assured smile, her determination and eagerness to try something again, and really do it this time.

Part of me was hoping that Grady would just jump straight to where Bella is right now, that he would suddenly have that confidence and assurance, right from the get-go. But there is growth in these uncomfortable and awkward moments. And there is strength and maturity that come from crying in your mama's lap, starting over, trying again and perservering through a challenge. And he'll get there. And when he does, it will be all the more exciting.

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