Last week, my daughter Kaydence attended her first birthday party. You can probably imagine the excitement of a three year being invited to a play day with her preschool friends after three years of playing with her mommy. But just behind her excitement was my panic. The thought of spending an hour with other adults that I didn’t know was nearly crippling for me. I’m shy, I’m nervous and socially awkward … a horrible combination when trying to leave a first impression on people. Rather than seeing the shyness, they see arrogance, rather than seeing nervousness they see impatience, rather than seeing akwardness, they see someone that doesn’t want to fit in.
Assumptions about people can be painful.
Knowing that I couldn’t hold my daughter back from a social opportunity, I put a brave face on and went. I smiled, I shook hands, I had actual conversations with adults. While most quickly ended with me scurrying to a comfortable corner, I don’t think I left any bad impressions and my daughter had an incredibly fun afternoon.
And now, I want to take a leap and keep trying to pull myself out of my mommy cave and back into the real world by enrolling my daughter in a tumbling class. She’s excited, I’m excited … it’s a win win combination except for one small detail. The registration form for her age group clearly says “Parental Participation Required” … GULP! Me? Why in the world would I need to participate in a toddler tumbling class? If it means standing on the sidelines and cheering her on, I’m all for it. But surely they can’t expect me to really participate?
Either way, I need to put my big girl panties on, tackle my social nervousness and dive in. My daughter is worth it. She deserves a chance to be the social butterfly I see inside her and maybe teach me along the way.