Yesterday was a good day for me as a mom. It started out a bit rocky, with William saying it wasn't fair that Ava got to go to singing lessons and get a new fish to replace the one she got in March for her birthday that was found belly up in late June. I realized he was right, particularly about the voice lessons, so I did some research and found a local gymnastics program perfect for his age.
I hadn't considered any form of paid, organized activity for him earlier because of his clingy nature and fear of any new experience. Ava had been in gymnastics since she was a baby, and she had tried soccer and t-ball before she was four years old, but she was always game for anything, and William is built with a totally different makeup.
He has come so far in a three week period that it makes my head spin. We saw the psychologist, tried a variety of her ideas, got him fully immersed in his new preschool environment, and suddenly he is demonstrating confidence that I never dreamed I'd see from him. It's incredibly encouraging.
I called the gymnastics place and asked if he could come and try it out. He cried all the way there, clung to my leg in the gym and sobbed some more while the other happy kids clustered around the coaches and made it look easy. After ten minutes, I said with obvious frustration, "Let's just go if you don't want to try this. I guess you aren't ready for gymnastics." He agreed wholeheartedly and wanted to leave, but the coach urged me to come and sit on the mat with him and the other kids, so I swallowed my pride and did so. Within five minutes, he was off and running and having the time of his life, and I was able to go and join the other moms and marvel at how much fun he was having.
Why am I so slow to learn that it's not about me in these situations? I didn't want to sit with him and ease him into the new environment because I thought that would be a crutch he would always need, but it turns out he only needed it for five minutes. He had such a great time, and said he wanted to return, so I signed him up for eight weeks of classes, and we both walked out of there feeling great.
After school, we picked up Ava and took her to her second voice lesson, and I literally watched her stand a little taller and sparkle around the edges during the thirty minutes she sang scales, learned to read a few basic notes, and sang her first song with her teacher. My daughter loves to sing and perform, and I was really proud as I watched her charm her voice coach, and heard the genuine praise that came Ava's way.
To celebrate, I took the kids out for dinner to Smitty's, one of their favourite eateries, as Jason had a work dinner. We ate and chatted and laughed, and I basked in the glow of that rare parenting moment: a pride that sneaks up on you when you least expect it and whispers, "These little people are fantastic. Good job."
It makes the really bad days bearable when you have these memories to summon and enjoy. We came home and played a few hands of Go Fish and Crazy Eights, and went into a peaceful bedtime of stories and songs. I started my own time in the evening with a peace in my spirit. All days won't be like this, but for right now, I'm feeling proud and grateful and aware of many of the good qualities in my children.