Sunday, June 12, 2011

Give her 10 minutes

I was saying the words to attempt to convince my 4-year-old daughter that Minnie Mouse isn't scary. But in my heart I knew. I knew the fear of being painfully shy. I knew the nervousness that only grew when somebody tried to force me to do something I wasn't ready for. I knew the stubbornness of digging in my heels, trying to regain control of an uncomfortable situation, especially when costumed characters are involved.

My daughter and I share many personalities traits. But she's not nearly as shy as I once was. And I'm glad about that.

She enters new situations shy {who doesn't, really?}, but when she warms up, she's ready. It usually takes her about 10 minutes. Then she's chatty and eager to soak it all in. It took me until I was at least 17 to get there.

Sure, she wasn't rushing over to sit with Minnie and Mickey for a picture at a fund-raiser for our local American Red Cross chapter, but she did pose a picture with them ... while in my lap. And she quickly befriended Ariel -- a red-headed woman wearing a sparkly, pink prom dress. She chatted with strangers, participated in games and told me that maybe when she was 5 she would take a picture with Minnie by herself.

She even sat in the front while listening to the lesson on helping people. To her defense, Minnie and Mickey are a little scary.

"How about I take a picture with Ariel and Minnie?" She proposed with a tone that spoke volumes about how she was formulating a more comfortable plan in her mind. She approached Ariel with her idea, but insisted on standing closely to her new friend and not next to Minnie. But she wanted Minnie near. We actually went through this scenario twice, and Minnie and Ariel were good sports both times.

My heart was full after spending a couple hours with just Cate. Our guys were at home doing their own thing while we were making memories. And conquering fears. Together.

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