Paley’s 8th: Just Showed Up Out of Nowhere
Either life is just going to darn fast or these birthdays just seem to pop up fast. Regardless, it’s here! Our little girl is no longer the tiny little singing and laughing girl. Today she is taller, a stronger student, learning to voice herself around us and the most lovable daughter and sister ever. We are starting to see Paley trying to figure out who she is and while the friendship game at school is still a struggle, like all other kids her age. She’s still acts with her heart rather than with negative feelings or words. She truly shines in moments of concern and care for others. While it’s easy to take the credit as her parents, the credit really belongs to her and her loving nature.
School has become a shinning place of progress for Paley. Yes emotions are still a hurdle but what we have learned in this past year from parents who have children with similar perfection issues, are lesson in learning to live and accept their perfection issues. And focus our energy on getting through the moments with strategies. There is no cure, there is no quick fix, there is no therapy session that will make it go away over time. Teaching her how to identify, deal and resolve the emotions is really all we can do for her as parents.
We are nearing the end of her 6th year in school and it’s pretty evident that our theory that we see a cycle every year. The cycle is pretty simple, the beginning of the school year is an emotional roller coaster for Paley and as the year progresses we see her emotions and anxiety begin to lighten. This year we have certainly saw situations from another point of view. Of course no one teacher is the same from year to year, so we certainly identify that she and all other students have to get used a new teachers attitude, teaching methods and ability to handle issues. We all know this talent to adapt with new teachers is going to be very important when they move onto middle school and beyond.
Acting in musicals is still her favorite activity outside of school and now that she has turned 8. She can now start auditioning for Children’s Musical Theater productions during the school year. Sadly there are no productions the rest of this school year and we’ve opted to skip the summer production because we have to many travel plans that will require more time away from rehearsals. Which means ,she is counting down the days till she can audition for the Fall production. Paley will be performing her 6th school production this Friday and maybe her last if chooses to do the bigger productions in the future. We are so proud of her love to be up there on the stage and her ability to remember her lines so fast. She is blossoming greatly in this art form.
This last year has also saw Paley’s return to the soccer field with several good school friends on a local micro soccer team. She’s been having a blast with the team but the real shinning glory in her transition into 8 is her newfound love for Tae Kwan Do. Thankfully, she and I both conquered our fears of the sport after she attended her friend Lucas’s birthday party last Fall. First and foremost, she has excelled greatly with the structure and as I sit here writing this and tearing up, she has found her voice. Paley has struggled the last two years on how to deal with bully’s and friend issues. In the last 4 months she’s been doing the classes ,she has finally built up her voice. I tear up also because I honestly have had my issues with sports like Karate, Tae Kwan Do and Jujitsu being a promotion of violence. Boy was I wrong, so wrong! The structure and discipline screams to Paley’s needs but the playful nature and care given by the instructors plays to hear good side and really squashed my idea of what the sport is all about.
Now I will admit, it’s a racket like I said it was, pushing our kid to attend classes 3 or 4 times a week. But, we are the parents and we dictate how she will benefit from the sport while protecting her from the trap of promises of being a black belt if she went to class more. Instead our message and guidance is we are in no hurry to get those belts. Just have fun and when you are ready, you will be ready. There is no need to rush to the finish line.
So here we are with year number 8. Yes, it’s true, we have entered the mean year for girls. Paley has had her fair share of mean girls controlling her over the past year in school, as well as witnessing good friends being preyed upon. She has always been one to jump to defend those in harms way, even when she may or may not understand things that are happening. Thankfully she still has several good friends who embrace her, celebrate her and have been there for her. It’s true friends come and go but the keepers stick around and sometime, we all just need a little break now and then.
Paley has been struggling with Clem and I talking about moving and having a 4th child these past 6-8 months. Late last year we realized that we really need to bring her into the conversation because truly she will be the most effected in our family. Where are we today with both subjects? Paley has expressed her concern over have another little sibling, the negative side being her loss of time and attention from both Clem and I. After hearing that concern back January, the pendulum for me, swung really fast over to “no more kids” and was anchored by my growing issue and fight to improve my health. Clem is still working on his resolve on the subject but we will touch on that on later post. Then there is the move, this issue is really only a concern when it come to the issue of her close friends. We’ve talked a few times with her about the possibility of moving away and she’s pretty open to the idea. Especially if we moved to the city or the beach. That’s usually followed by singing and dancing! Sadly that topic is being tabled till after the elections.
For now, we just want to soak up every moment of the kids in this stage of life, where they are so innocent and changing so rapidly. I know the days of all three kids sharing a shower are counting down. Or the days of crawling into our bed in the morning are happening less and less. More importantly Clem and I are having to talk about the notion that we ourselves are fast approaching our retirement years and where will we be happy and where would our grandchildren most likely come see us. Paley still says when we have such discussions, she’s not going anywhere and plans to live with us forever. You just want to squeeze her and not let go but some day, these birds will need to fly high and far and I want them to reach for the stars or far away for the dreams they have.
*New images have been added to the portrait video.*