Today was Middle's conference. She's in first grade, reading, writing, math. She's doing well. She knows her math, she can read, but reads too slow. Which we know. She is not a phonetic reader, which I guessed with her inability to sound out and spell. She can read sight words, and sound them out, but she could not spell many back to save her life. It's frustrating, for her and us.
She told us that she is very shy. She touched on it several times. The teacher says she doesn't let her get away with it, which I understand. She has been, since the day she was born. It's painful, and we work on it. We try and teach her how it comes across rude, and that she needs to speak up, and to people. She is not the first to speak, or greet. She hangs her head, or tries to run off, when she is at home, dealing with extended relatives. She was the little toddler that watched with a scowl, wanting to join, but just.could.not.do.it. She plays on her own a lot, and is okay with it. Yes, she is shy, but it has never been an excuse in this house.
It's hard. The teacher has had only a few months with my child, and that's okay.
But she wasn't the mom the days that Middle cried as though her heart would break, and begged me not to take her to school.
She wasn't the mom who picked up her baby blue eyed girl, with tears streaming down her face, just hiding behind me.
She wasn't the mom watching from 20 feet away as Middle approached a group of girls, on her own and ran off to play with them. I just watched her, tears in my own eyes, and my heart soared. She took a giant leap that day.
Or how about the day that she came home, just a few weeks ago, and announced at dinner that she plays soccer, with a group of kids, at lunch. On her own. The husband and I shared a look of complete happiness, and listened. Listened to the sound of her breaking free, little by little from the glass box of shyness she had been in.
She has made leaps and bounds. And that's worth noting.