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    Thursday, October 16, 2008

    The Torch Is Passed, And Why That Sucks

    Samantha's preschool is having their "Daddys Spaghetti Dinner" tonight. She is ecstatic. They have been learning songs, making gifts for the dads, and generally building up anticipation for this for weeks. It's all set up and ready to go in the gym, so when we picked up Samantha today, we (along with a couple of other parents and their students) peeked in to check out what we'll be missing tonight.

    VERY cute stuff. Painted rocks with "My Dad Rocks" are at each place setting, made by student for their daddy. Cards touting what each child loves about their dads crop up out of the pumpkin centerpieces. Hand-written place cards complete each place setting. A. DOR. A. BLE. Seriously.

    Mom J, one of my favorite moms, comes up to me and says that her son, a VERY sweet, soft-spoken, well-behaved boy, has told her this: "Mom, when we sing tonight, you're going to hear one very loud voice. That will be Samantha."

    Oy.

    I immediately felt my face go red. I stuttered something, with a fake smile on my face, about how I was loud as a child (shut up, I'm better now), and how Samantha is (sorry Samantha, for when you read this someday) A) loud like me, and B) tone deaf like her father (Greg knows this is true, too). But she has that same passion for 'the singing' as her daddy, and so I was not surprised to hear that she was the loudest of the bunch at four. Mom J felt bad (I must have faked amusement badly) and said she only told me because she thought it was cute. She is SUCH a sweetie (and reminds me much of my dear friend Mrs M, so you know I adore her), and I felt bad...that she felt bad...because she thought I felt bad...because of what she said.

    I told her it was really fine, and that I was fine, she needn't feel bad. But it's easy for her to say that "it's cute" when she has a soft-spoken, never-runs-in-the-halls, always-does-what-he's-told little angel like hers.

    The truth is that I was a little sad. I had hoped that the "S-family-loud-mouth-trait" so prevalent in my family would have passed her by, but she is seemingly not that lucky. I feel bad for her - it's no fun to be the loudest girl. Trust me on that. So while I am thrilled at her enthusiasm, and proud of her 100% effort, I am struggling with accepting that another of the traits that disserviced me as a child has been passed on to her. And the fact that other 4-year olds are already noticing how much LOUDER she is than other kids is a pretty clear indication of how bad she's got her case of "The Louds".

    Sigh. I will do my best to stuff this; to help her find ways to express herself while helping her understand volume control (and mouth control in general), and to find some way to NOT have it affect her self-esteem. I am crossing fingers and praying like mad that I find a way to do just that.

    Tonight will be so special for them, and I choose to focus on that. But here at FMFO, I know I can come and share the secret petrifying fears that eat me up inside about who she is becoming, because I want so much for her to be spared the things I was not spared.

    2 comments:

    Missives From Suburbia said...

    "... because I want so much for her to be spared the things I was not spare."

    She will be spared a lot of that crap, simply because you and your sweet husband are not your parents. And when she comes to you, because a stranger or friend has made a comment to her, you'll be able to explain to her why hiding her light is the last thing she should consider.

    Hugs.

    She's going to be fantastic tonight.

    Kae said...

    My little niece was in a Christmas play/program last year. D and I went to watch her sweet quiet cuteness. But as adorable as she was sitting on the stage in her little cow costume (don't ask me where the cows came from) the real fun of the evening was watching the histerically, loud, non-shy "performer" on the stage. He was a wise man who loved to dance to the songs, sing VERY loud, play with his costume, and wink and wave to every single person in the audience. I heard the rest of the audience laughing with him (which quite frankly encouraged the little ham a bit) but my entire family had laughed ourselves to tears. As fun as it was to see my sweet niece in her first preschool program, she wasn't the true entertainment for the night. We thorougly enjoyed ourselves watching someone else's loud child.
    I'm sorry your heart got bruised, but don't be sorry that SKC isn't a wall flower. She's her own girl and she will be loved by more than her mommy and daddy for it. :-)