Mini is taking gymnastics for the second time and she really likes it. In the beginning of this session, she had difficulty separating from me when it was time to meet her class for warm-ups. She would seem okay, then panic at the last minute and cling to my leg, teary-eyed and inconsolable.
It got easier because this sudden separation issue became our focus over the next few months, and I was determined to keep going. I shared back in February that she was crying when I dropped her off at all of her activities like church, Mother’s Day Out, and playdates, too. It has been an exhausting parenting dilemma and we’re STILL going through it to some degree. It’s been so draining.
I’ve prayed for Mini to quickly move past this phase because I really believe that’s all it is: a phase. She is confident and secure at all other times, and there are no obvious behavior or attachment issues. Plus, she LOVES being at these activities once she gets over the initial panic. Since it started right after my surgery, I’m sure she is coping with her fears in this way. But since I’m with her so much every day, I thought it would’ve passed by now. This is one of those difficult, lingering phases.
So I pray and wait and trust. I try not to get myself worked up (try), and be patient that it is a process for her. I have asked friends and sought counsel from educators, and God has given me an open ear and discernment when needed. I’m thankful for the little ideas I’ve heard along the way that did seem to help.
She earned spots for her ladybug when she had a “happy heart and obeyed” when I dropped her off
The ladybug idea worked to reinforce obedience (which is an important thing to us, because yo, there are things you do in life because you are told you need to do them. Period.). But she still felt brokenhearted when I’d leave and that tore me up inside. I wanted to really understand what was going on and comfort her. What were the right words I needed to say?
I still don’t have the answer to that question, but I do know that God is working and we’re moving along in the process. He is using every single day to do something to help/teach us both. He also had some surprise provisions that made a big difference.
Take gymnastics, for example.
A material thing – a cute new leotard that was handed down at just the right time – put a bounce in her step.
And a friend, too. She has been the cutest support system around for Mini. She listened to her mama’s encouragement and wanted “to be a friend and hold her hand.” That day Mini had no separation anxiety whatsoever. And it had nothing to do with me, the right words, or a ladybug.
By this time, she would’ve been happily jumping on the trampoline every week. But I was way more relaxed watching her behind the glass this time.
She has so much fun in her gymnastics class!
P. and Mini – becoming great friends!
(sorry for the close-up…hi there…but just wanted to remember her smile and this sweet hug)
And this goes without saying, but as moms we know that there will be tough phases. We know. But I do forget how consuming they can be in my human attempt to overcome them. But the big picture is this: she is God’s little girl.
I’m glad that He is there for both of us.