She still wants to curl up in my lap and gets into the most impossibly small ball so I can wrap her up fully in my arms and rock her.
She still looks back at me when they are tumbling across the floor and when she manages a new roundhouse. A thumbs up is all she needs before she’s off with a huge smile on her face.
I fought with myself for months on this. There were parenting articles out there that said, “Don’t watch your kids practice or they will believe they are doing this FOR you and not for themselves”.
All because of that I started sitting in the back of the room during practice, I brought my laptop and a book so I looked busy and didn’t look up at her practicing too much because I didn’t want her to see me looking too interested. She didn’t seem as happy as she used to be when we left gymnastics. She didn’t want to quit, she didn’t hate practicing… but she was less “alive”.
During my drive to work one morning she came to my mind. See, my little Suzanne is only 6 years old. She is the youngest of 7 kids and the last one who is demanding my attention. The last one that REALLY wants to be in my arms and I have yet to deny her that chance. Every Monday I leave work, drive home as fast as I can, get her all ready and head over a gym that she adores, alone. It’s our time… Just she and I.
When I watch her out on the mats and remember how far she’s come, I get butterflies in my stomach. After every class she comes to me with a smile on her face and skips to the truck, sometimes with her hand in mine and talks about what she did. Did I see her flip? Did I see her on the bars?
Now… I smile down at her and say, “Yes, you looked really good out there. I love watching you practice. How do you feel about it? Did you do something new today that was fun?”
Perhaps that article was talking about older kids, or kids in a different birth order or… just THAT family. But for MY family, I’ll be the screaming mom in the stands when my kids need a cheerleader. That is what *I* do..