Monday, April 13, 2009

Lessons among the blades of grass

For the past.......ummmm.....five years it has RAINED on Easter weekend. Actually, I'm uncertain as to whether it rained every Easter before that since it didn't seem to matter much to me, until I had a little one that I so desperately wanted to take on an Easter egg hunt. 

Oh how I have yearned to see my little honey running through the grass, excitedly looking for eggs, as I sit back....SMILE....and of course capture the memories with my camera. I have the photos imagined in my head, but the weather has never cooperated. 

This past weekend didn't disappoint. Only because I expected rain and it came. Saturday there was a short window without rain, and it so happened that the local small town was having a quick get together for the kids. I hesitantly brought the Sugar to the site of the Egg Hunt, with little to no explanation, as I didn't want to disappoint if it didn't work out. We pulled into the High School parking lot, to see lots of kids excitedly lining up for the hunt. I looked into the sky, and saw patches of blue. I quickly gave Sugar Bear the gist of why we were there, and hurried her out of the truck. She was thrilled.....until we saw......THIS:
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Oh dear.....she clung to me like white on rice, and we nearly fell down as she tried to walk and hide herself behind me. I have mentioned LONG AGO, that Sugar Bear is a big go getter. She LOVES nature, and there is rarely something she won't try. UNLESS it involves people. She is GREATLY apprehensive of people. It takes her quite a while to warm up to folks, and every morning, she needs her space before opening up to her friends at preschool. She is a people watcher, and tend to not talk while in the presence of folks she doesn't know very well, or at all. She was not thrilled with this Easter Bunny, and it set her on a bit of a downward spiral. 

As we stood preparing for the hunt, along with the other 4-5 year olds (and some cheaters), everyone seemed mixed with emotions. Joy....excitement, curiosity.......

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and APPREHENSION!
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Sugar Bear was less than thrilled that I had to step so far away to get these shots. Silly mama had her 70-300mm lens on camera, so I had to back up at least 10 feet for these.

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Her eyes pleaded with me to come back.

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and come back I did! I knelt down and proceeded to describe what would happen, and she quietly listened. She had yet to speak a single word. I quietly asked her if she understood the idea of the hunt, and she nodded....grabbed my face, pulled my ear to her mouth and whispered, "I don't want to do it!" My heart sank. I felt so sad for her worry. I wanted to make it better...to ease her mind. All I could do was promise, "I will be with you!" I held her tiny hand in mine, and when the starting horn blew, we leapt forward. Two eggs into it, she started to perk up. Her fingers slipped from mine, and she bent down and gathered some eggs.


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One after another, she looked around, and shyly grasped her colorful query, while constantly checking to make sure I was no more than 10 feet away.

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Soon all the eggs were gathered, and as her eyes raised up to meet mine, the sense of victory was enough to melt this smitten mama's heart.  Despite her trepidation, she had found her JOY in 13 little plastic eggs.

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What a blessing. 
 Oh how it is hard on a mama's heart to know whether to push a shy child to participate when you can see her fear....feel her heart racing.

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It is times like this that really test my inner most beliefs.  Do I have what it takes to lead this tiny person into adulthood?  Will the decisions I make be the right ones?  When should I push? and when should I let it go?  Goodness...this parenting thing is tough stuff.  Much like opening Easter eggs.

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However, much like the inside, you never know what you're going to get, and you just have to have HOPE, FAITH....
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And be willing to be surprised.

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In the end, it will all be well worth it.

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Especially if there is Ice Cream involved.  It just doesn't get better than that!
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All in all, it was an amazing opportunity for personal growth on both our accounts, and as we drove away, we had sticky fingers, chocolately smiles, memories in the camera, and rain drops on our windshield.  All was right with the world.

20 Live It or Love It:

Gayle said...

Oh, my little Olivia would have had the same terrified look (which is exactly why I don't bother going to these things). If an adult talks to her she is immediately behind me dropping her face...she about knocks me down. My first two boys are obnoxious, loud and out-going. Emily was extremely shy, and I've made the last two this way by never going anywhere with them. I am so proud of you for sticking it out. I can imagine your first reaction was to comfort Sugar and leave. You really did the right thing...you helped her (and yourself) to grow. I'm so glad it worked out for you two.

Nap Warden said...

Awwww...she looked very unsure of the whole situation. The ice cream looks like it cured it all;)

Autumn said...

I know EXACTLY how you feel. Bug is very outgoing when it comes to people he knows. But he is very shy with new people. I was exactly the same way as a child so I understand what it feels like inside. I do with Bug just what you did, I explain and gently encourage. The only time I have felt it absolutely necessary to really push was with school. It was something he had to do. It was so heartbreaking.....
I am so glad that Sugar warmed up to it and had fun!

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

lovely photos - LOVE that bunny and you are so nice to give ice cream in the car!

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

Aww, I love how you capture Sugar Bear's personality so clearly through your photographs. And that she finally got her egg hunt experience. Becca is that way a little bit around people she doesn't know - she's such a little spitfire at home, but tends to be unsure sometimes otherwise. We didn't make it to any egg hunts this year - hopefully next year. :)

Tanya said...

oh my..lol..Lemmie had the same reaction to those man sized "puppets" when she was Sugar Bear's age!
Love the images! as always~ :)

Christina said...

Oh, that poor little honey! She looks so upset - but was brave, and she did it! Good for you, Sugar, and good for you, Mama! I have no doubt that you will guide her wall, Corey.

david mcmahon said...

Truly a post that says it all, Corey. As a parent, I know exactly what you mean.

Veggie Mom said...

This reminds me of inviting a clown to College Girl's 4th b-day party. Or the time we went to the mall so she could meet Mickey and Minnie? Big mistake! Love the festive snaps, though...

ispeakbeanish said...

She did great! Good for her for getting those eggs. You did a great job reassuring her so she could step on out to do it.

naturglede said...

Stunning photoes!
Congratulation, you are also one of the post for the day.http://david-mcmahon.blogspot.com/

Merisi said...

Wonder sequence of pictures and text! Better safe than sorry, your daughter has it right.

Congratulations on winning David's POTD Award! :-)

Denise said...

You're a super mummy. This post was beyond wonderful. I loved the photos of your little one at the Easter Egg hunt, what a joy these photos are going to be to you all in the years ahead. Thank you for such a very heart-warming post.

Denise said...

p.s. congratulations on your POTD over at David's blog.

Louise said...

What a great story, and your Saturday pictures are certainly worth five years of no picture. They are excellent.

And she'll be fine. I think shy, introverted people have a better handle on the world. They pay attention and understand things. I always say that one learns more by listening and observing than talking and being in the thick of something. She's beautiful,and is going to be wise, too.

Louise said...

Oops. I forgot to say congratulations on Post of the Day. This is definitely worthy!

mrsmouthy said...

That is the perfect analogy--raising kids is like opening Easter eggs. I'm going to remember that line and use it next Easter!

Cath said...

What a beautiful photostory Corey. My! but Sugar is growing fast. It is a while since I have been (sorry) and I see it in her growth!

But your photography (and love for Sugar) remains as constantly top notch as ever. Thank you for sharing her just a little. :)

Becca said...

What a great post :-) Love your life lesson and your great pictures!

Lishak said...

What a lovely post! Your daughter is so beautiful and her expressions are priceless. :)

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