Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Our Abby


     Although full of personality, energy, and plenty of volume (to put it nicely :) at home, Abby is our quiet, hesitant girl in social situations.  I think her school and church teachers would be shocked to see her dancing around in our family room, hear her cracking jokes, or wrestling with her brothers.
      Her most common response to new situations seems to be resistance and one of my biggest concerns for her at school has been that she will be overlooked and would not speak up if she needed something (I actually asked her kindergarten teacher last year at conferences if she ever asked to go to the bathroom, because I was worried she wouldn't ask if she needed to go).
      A couple of weeks ago as we were walking home, Abby mentioned that they were looking for people to say some parts in the upcoming first grade Christmas performance.
       "Really?"  I answered only half way listening as I maneuvered our gigantic double stroller with the little boys in it through the throngs of kids walking home.
       "Yes," she replied, "and today they asked if anybody wanted a part."
        "Did you raise your hand?" I asked my interest now fully on the conversation.
        "Yes and I had to stand up and say a part in front of the whole class and I already have my part memorized, but I don't know if I got it yet."
           "You tried out for a part?!"  I almost choked on my surprise and I stopped right there and bent down and hugged my little girl tightly.  It wasn't a formal tryout, just the music teacher asking people to say a line.  But it was in front of the whole class and our little girl had not just wanted to try, she had the courage to do it.
            Abby continued to talk about it over the next few days and how much she wanted to get a part and we continued to tell her we were so proud that she even tried, but oh how I wanted her to get that part.  They were just little one line sayings and probably not something the teacher gave much thought to who she assigned it to, but I knew how much it meant to her.
            A few days later when we met the kids after school Abby flew down the sidewalk to greet me.
            "I got a part!  I got a part!"  she squealed while jumping up and down.  And I about cried right there on the walk home I was so excited for her.
          Last night our family took our seats (they actually got to perform it on a stage at a local high school) and eagerly awaited the start of the program.  "Oh what a lovely sight to see" was the part that Abby and one other girl had been assigned.  Our whole family, minus Elliot, knew this part.  Mason had been reciting it repeatedly in the days leading up to the performance because he had heard Abby say it so much.
        The first graders were adorable and the music teacher had done a fantastic job.  They sang, did actions, and told a cute story about a Christmas tree.  I loved watching my girl in the front row singing, smiling and doing the actions.  She wasn't the most animated or the loudest, but every so often a smile would break through and I could tell she was really enjoying it.    Towards the end of the night, the big moment came.  She left her spot, walked to the front with her partner and then,
          "Oh, what a lovely sight to see!" filled the auditorium.  And when I say filled, I mean filled.  They had practiced at school without microphones and had been told to talk loudly and that they did.  She said later she was surprised how loud it sounded with a microphone.
          Afterwards we greeted her with hugs and congratulations.  As left last night, she seemed to me to walk a little taller, a little more confidently,  and as always with a little piece of my heart.
          I sometimes (often times) want to just keep my kids home with me all the time and protect them from anything that could be scary or hurtful to them.  Moments like last night, however, reaffirm to me the importance of letting go (just a little bit) and giving them room to learn to spread their wings.  I know that there will be lots of failures mixed in with the successes, but I just want them to have the confidence and courage to try.
                                        Good job Abby, we love you baby girl!
         

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