Our four-year-old made her dancing debut over the weekend.
Watching her dance, sing and twirl around the stage was one of our proudest parenting moments yet.
Our sweet four-year-old has come so far this year.
A year ago I’m not certain that she’d even set foot on a stage.
Historically, she has been shy, cautious and at times sensitive crying at the drop of a hat.
A lot can happen in a year though and this year has been a massive year of growth for her.
She is gaining confidence every day and I would even go so far as to say she is becoming adventurous and brave. There is no doubt that she is blossoming.
Her preschool teacher often marvels over how far she has come. She is leading play, contributing to classroom discussion, is assertive and building strong friendships. It’s a far cry from the first quarter of the year when she would cry on more day care drop offs than not.
Her swimming teacher is happy with her progress, relieved that the battle to get her into the pool was short lived. There are no more tears, just playful giggles with flashes of steely determination to get this swimming thing down pat.
Mothers from day care tell me how chatty Miss Four has become and even our favourite check out chick at Coles can’t believe she’s the same child.
While Dave and I are aware of just how far she has come, we still didn’t know what to expect last Sunday.
As we sat in the auditorium with parents and grandparents chatting merrily around us, my heart was in my mouth.
Would her shyness get the better of her? Would she cope without Teddy? Would she panic when the curtains parted and she saw a sea of faces staring back at her?
When the curtains parted, I watched her tiny face search for us in the crowd. She spotted us straight away (hard not to when I was waving at her like a crazed lunatic) and gave us a sweet smile. Tears of pride pricked my eyes and I thought my heart would explode.
The music and dancing began, but still she stood.
It seemed like she was standing there not moving forever. There was no sign of fear on her face, she was just caught in a moment taking in the audience. With a nudge from her friend she was snapped out of her trance and she shook her hips, pointed her toes and clapped her hands with the best of them.
On the drive home, I asked her if she was scared when she saw the audience.
‘No,’ she said simply.
And that was that. Not another word was said.
Later that day, she asked me when she can do the concert again!
Talk about a changed child.
Who knows if the progress we’ve made with Miss Four is simply to do with her becoming more confident with age or a result of the efforts Dave and I have put into encouraging and nurturing her or a combination of both.
We’ve always taught her to believe in herself and stand up for herself. We’ve listened to her concerns and allowed her to move at her own pace with gentle encouragement. We’ve given her variety in her activities with everything from rock climbing to high tea and we’ve exposed her to positive role models.
I’m sure there will still be times when she’ll hide behind me when we’re talking to someone new or she’ll protest when she has to do show and tell. That’s okay.
Whatever she does we are proud of the progress she’s made and the little individual she is becoming.
Well done, darling heart xx
Who/what has made you proud this year? Do you have a shy or sensitive child? How do you encourage them to step out of their comfort zone?
Linking up today with the ever-awesome EssentiallyJess.