Friday, 13 April 2012

PRIDE In My Daughter!

  Pride.  Unapologetic, so big that it actually physically hurts ... PRIDE.  This is how I felt about my oldest daughter last night.  My little girl who "was" so shy she could not make herself speak to anyone other than immediate family, sang a solo at her school talent show last night.  Not only did she sing a solo, she did an amazing job.
    For Grace this was such a monumental event.  I have always wished that I could take Grace's intense shyness for her.  Since her birth Grace has been shy.  Not just talk to strangers shy, but painfully shy.  People don't understand shy.  I remember the ever so helpful advice of idiots who knew nothing about shyness telling me I just needed to push her out of shyness.  I should force her to participate in uncomfortable circumstances ( I really wanted to push them) of .  To me this wreaked of child abuse.  I had to let her find her own comfort and go from there.  I have pushed her, but tiny baby pushes, and let her find her comfort, each time expanding her level of comfort.  Like the little train that could.  The worst part for Gracie is that she was an extrovert trapped in an introverts body.  I would watch her pained expression as she watched other kids do the things that she longed to do.
    Two years ago our local arts group (The Marble Church Art Centre / Tweed and Area Arts Council) offered a children's theatre program.  This theatre camp was run by a young professional named Tim Porter.  Tim's gentle manner allowed Grace to thrive.  When she began the program she was too shy to even talk to Tim in anything but a whisper.  By the end of the the camp, she was singing a solo.  The theatre camp allowed her to face her fears and come out uninjured.  After that she never looked back.
    So last night my little girl who until recently would not ask you for a fire extinguisher if she was on fire, got up on a big stage and sang for over 250 people.  My little girl who was so much braver than I could ever be (all my life I have longed to sing in public, but never had the courage).  Grace got up there and made it look so easy.  There was a moment when she stood there, and I thought that she was going to cry, and then she began to sing.  With every breath she became more confident.  She sang like a professional ( I say this not as a proud mother, but in an honest way).

    I stood there blinded by tears, barely suppressing sobs.  I had just watched my little caterpillar, not just escape from but explode from her cocoon.  The world belongs to her.  Nothing can stand in her way.  Pride, I feel such overwhelming pride and love for her.

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