On Trying New Things (& continuing to surprise myself)

We had a really busy weekend. We celebrated franks first birthday(!!), we braved Ikea on a Saturday at lunch time, I tried bikram (hot) yoga for the first time (having no idea it was totally appropriate to basically show up in your underwear?) and Henry and I saw Monsters, Inc in 3D. It was a full, busy and happy weekend. My favorite kind of weekend.

The highlight, though, for me was taking Henry to his first gymnastics class (without parent participation). I got to sit in a little observation area where I could watch what Henry was doing.

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In this picture Henry is in the center, wearing a blue shirt with white sleeves and grey sweatpants. He is sitting in a circle with one teacher and 3 little girls.

I have wanted to put Henry is gymnastics for a while, in a “real” gym, as opposed to the little/my gyms.  Henry is a very physical kid. Kinetic is the word Bryan taught me this weekend. Being able to run and jump and put forth a maximum amount of effort makes Henry happy. The happiest he ever is. Exponentially happy. Indescribably so. So I wanted to find a setting for him to have the opportunity to do that, plus learn some new things (like forward rolls!) and experience a group setting with an authoritative figure who isn’t related to him. So gym class it was!

And so, since this new blog is supposed to be about me, I am going to quit talking about Henry, and, instead talk about my experience watching Henry have this experience. Oddly, and unexpectedly, it was a very emotional 50 minutes for me. Henry was so excited and eager. He did such a great job listening!! He was kind to the other children! And he did a really great job trying all the skills he was encouraged to do. I was so proud (even though I know I have little to do with it). And watching this little boy participate in the world all on his own was such a treat. Seeing him finish a “routine” and then put his hands in the air (like a real gymnast :)) was amazing. It made me giggle out loud while simultaneously bringing tears to my eyes. I felt like such a cliche – the mother who cries on her child’s first day of school. I never thought I would be that mom because I always knew it was important and healthy for kids to have lives independent of their parents. Boy, was I surprised by my reaction.

I know this is just one step of thousands that Henry is going to take on his very own path to find himself. And I also know there are lots of hugs and kisses and snuggles left before we have to let go of that little boy. But it still shocks me at times that Henry is already so mature and capable of things. However, seeing Henry be such a happy, excited and outgoing kid in a new environment was like a gift. I spend a lot of time hoping that my parenting gives my children permission to be themselves and that, despite whatever adverse behaviors they exhibit, who they are is wonderful. And even though he isn’t even 3 yet, being able to see him jump in and get into it, felt like a tiny victory.

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