Welll, to say I've had an eye opener would be an understatement. Little Miss Margaret turned the big 2 last month, and I realized that the sweet little girly needed something of her own. So for the past couple of weeks I've taken her to a gymnastics class. And she loves it. Now, I'm not new to gymnastics. t just happens to be himself's absolute favourite activity, on the planet. He loves it, he doesn't do it, but he adores it nonethless. Prior to now, my experience has been registering Aiden in gymnastics, paying the fees, and then watching him play with those great big stuffed blocks while the other kids followed instructions and honed new skills. Now, that's not to say he didn't hone new skills, he'd go home and perform all of the new tricks, just not there. He was too busy. Blocks you see. Towns to build, harbours to construct, etc.
Taking little Miss was a completely different experience. When she wanted to jump on the big trampoline I felt a familiar anxiety...kids have to sit and wait and take turns on that thing. Always was a issue for me in the past...but guess what. No issues. She sat and waited for her turn.
When other kids took toys she was playing with (they're all quite young) she just moved on, or waited for it to be returned.
And at the end, when they took out the parachute, I really had to fight a familiar urge to leave just a few minutes early. Just avoid the whole thing. But, nope, you guessed it. No issues. She took a piece of parachute in her hand, and shook it when told to do so. "Make little waves." Yup. 'Make big waves!". Sure thing. 'Okay boys and girls, everybody sit in the middle of the parachute, and we'll give you a ride!". Oh no...flashbacks imagery of himself rolling onto others, getting overly excited flicked like a slideshow in my mind....but, she hopped in, sat with the other kids, and simply enjoyed the ride. Phewwwww.
So, now I know how it feels. To go places, relax, and enjoy. To realize that activities can actually be the fun they were intended to be. To be one of those parents who can just go and do things.
Except it's a bit of a farce. Let's face it, I had to pretend I was taking her to a doctor's appointment, so he wouldn't be heartbroken to know that gymnastics exists without him. And, I'm the whole time comparing their behaviours. And, I'm looking at it all now, and thinking back to when he was two, and undiagnosed, and how overwhelming it must have been for him..I took him from playgroup to playdate, to activities, with nary a thought of how stressful it was for him. And here's Margaret, joyfully joining in, oblivious to how easy she has it.
But at least I get a chance to sit and enjoy. Watch her playing so well, having so much fun. Parenting this typical child is in many ways daunting to me, sound strange? Just think about it, I'll have to step back from her, she won't need me to hover, to protect, to intervene. I'll get to sit in parent waiting areas, drop off and pick up, pack lunches and kiss goodbye. All unfamiliar territory to me.
Being her Mom is going to be different....but you know me, I embrace differences.