The days that I am on duty as the parent helper, I smile to see him participating in the group components of circle time and shed a few mental tears as I see him mill about the playground, too shy to enter into play with his classmates. He says hardly a word to anyone, all day long.
It's tough learning how to parent a child with a personality so different from my own. I come home from time spent with friends feeling energized and refreshed, buoyed. As far as I can tell, despite his enjoyment of school, his pride in what he learns and accomplishes, and his utter delight in the endless art projects and activities, he leaves it drained, yearning for home and familiarity. I usually find him at pickup with his face flushed and his voice a little squeaky. And although he has never once left green light on the classroom behavior chart, the hour following the end of school is the most likely time for him to openly defy me or to indulge in a major case of the whines.
I've learned not to be over the top in my questions about his day, to ask them quietly and gently, usually waiting for him to lead into the discussion. I've also learned that a few laps up and down the hall help work out some of that energy he's been sitting on.
I have no desire to change Little Guy's personality. He is an observer, a thinker, a cautious and caring, sensitive child. I love those things about him. And goodness knows, I could learn a thing or two about keeping my mouth shut.
I do want him to feel comfortable in the world and learn to accept the kindness that others extend to him. I also want him to learn to help others feel comfortable and to be brave enough to show kindness to them.
A couple weeks ago, I got a report that he had chosen a song from the song bucket and led the class in singing it. HUGE. And then the next school day, there was a report that he had spoken to a classmate in the play room. EQUALLY HUGE. And it only took seven months! ;)
And then there was today. His Easter program, where he sang and smiled and clapped, even if he also spent a fair amount of time with his chin tucked to his chest, looking up through those heavy lashes of his.
It was a sweet day. And I'm so proud of my big boy's baby steps. They take all the courage he's got.
We are so proud of our provider, defender, and sacrificer-in-chief. He gives himself up for us, over and again, offering us a living example of the love of Christ. This Good Friday, and every day, we are thankful.