M is not the same when I’m around. If you’ve ever spent time with children you probably know they act different when familiar faces are around. Marijka is no exception. She’s attending her first summer camp this week. It’s yoga themed and only two days in I can tell she is enjoying it. Is that because she is excited to run off when we get there or because at pick up time she runs to me and quickly shares all the fun things she’s experienced while I was gone? Absolutely not, in fact it’s the opposite. I can barely squeeze one or two things out of her about her day but you know how I know she is enjoying it? Pictures the staff send me along with my quiet observations while keeping myself out of her sight. These things speak more than words about her day ever will. What I witness while quietly observing her or looking through pictures that were taken of her morning, is a girl I rarely get to witness when I’m present.
My shy and hesitant girl at drop off who is refusing to acknowledge anyone or respond when being interacted with instantly opens up and becomes a confident leader when I am out of view.
It takes me letting her go for her to become everything I want her to be. That’s hard to write and even harder to do. The result however is worth it…
Confidence, occasional hesitation while accompanied with a serious steady look on her face as she assesses a new situation and what her next move will be. Concentration, trust and decifering good/bad judgment of others and situations because of social interactions without mom or dad to run back to and ask for their assessment. Letting others help her and understanding she can seek help from others.
I’m sure there’s some phsycological explanation for all this but I like to believe it has to do with her own sense of trust/confidence that is being built in herself. When we are around she has us to lean back on (similar to a crutch) and she takes it because it’s always easier to lean on what you know verses try new things or enter an uncomfortable situation. However, when she’s given the chance to prove she can do this on her own she rises to the challenge and I couldn’t be more proud. When given the opportunity, children can prove to themselves and others they can do just about anything. They just need the space and opportunity to feel like they can try first. Also lots of encouragement and advice about how to keep trying if they don’t succeed the first try.
That last sentence reminds me to be clear about something. It’s obviously important that we are present for our children when they need us and they do need us a lot. I do witness this other side of Marijka from time to time I am just also well aware that in order for her to become everything she and I both want her to be I have to let her go and have experiences on her own, away from me as well. Everyone acts different depending on the circumstances around them. I want her to know I’ll always be here for her but it’s OK and encouraged to go out and be someone who makes a difference and can be their own person in this world and I’ll be in the background as her biggest cheerleader.