Then, as we laid it all out, and talked about how we came to feel badly about that part of ourselves for a time, something occurred to us.
It doesn't have to be that way.
Our parents' generation equated loud children as disruptive children, as unruly children, even as bad children, and our families conveyed that to us right along with the world who spent so much time "shushing" us. Who we were and how we felt about ourselves was, in part, defined by being knocked down emotionally when we were at our peaks, which is when we were also at our loudest by nature. Parents who succeeded in quieting their children might have felt victorious over ours who, despite their best efforts, never seemed to have much luck in shutting off the amplifiers inside us; but the more we talked about it, maybe it's a lesson we are proud to have not learned all that well.
Maybe who we are, even when we are loud...even TOO loud
And maybe we can pass that on to our daughters, rather than teaching them that it's always best to be figuratively posing for American Girl Magazine, to stuff what you feel, to suppress who you are, and that the only good manners are quiet, ladylike, muted ones.
Maybe the world will do its best to quiet her, but I can choose NOT to stand in line with them, and NOT participate in admonishing her for who she is. Maybe I can choose to tell her that while we should try to not make things uncomfortable for other people, and we should let other people shine, too, that it's OK to be excited. It's OK to not be able to contain it. It's OK to love who you are, even if an adjective describing part of who you are is "LOUD".
I have no doubt she WILL be the loudest one singing "Skinamarinkee-dinkee-dink..." tonight. And her daddy will be proud as punch while she does it, probably holding back tears at the enthusiastic, beautiful, smart young lady she is. And the more I think about it, the more I really hope he remembers to video tape the whole loud, boisterous beautiful thing, so I can be proud as punch, too.
*Deb, I am grateful for you as always; and for the better moms we become every day because we can encourage and uplift one another, and have such immense impact on each other's families in such a beautiful, meaningful way. Thanks for your friendship, and for being a "loud girl" with me, and for loving my little "loud girl", too.