Oh nothing bad happened, just a moment that pierced my heart. Julia is quite competent, very grown up acting and she had me fooled about how well her confidence in herself was.
She is very bold with me, very confident with what she chooses to wear and what style she likes.
So the moment before she entered a (homeschool) class, the doubt that went across her face, and the "uh-oh" moment of "Momma, I can't wear this in there," (while looking at all the other girls in the glass fronted room), took me a 1..2...3 second recovery time to not say the wrong thing and hug my girl who was beginning to get tears in her eyes.
I wanted to encourage different at that very moment, I wanted to express how great being "You" is to her, how when you looked in the mirror at home and liked what you saw, that should carry you through the day but at that moment when her eyes were pleading, "Momma, just help me take it off before someone notices," all I could do was hold her tight, help her and let her get her composure back.
Walking away...how disappointed in myself I was. There were no words expressed on what I wanted or thought but because it took me a moment to compose myself, to hold myself back from saying "oh Julia, you should wear it," which was on the tip of my tongue, for not putting myself in my sweet girls shoes and understanding for that I was conflicted. Who hasn't felt what she did that day?...my hand would be the first to be raised.Over the course of a few days we talked, with me subtly throwing in how great and cool different is, but more importantly learning Julia's worries and insecurities, and sharing with her some of my own at her age.
Then evaluating myself and my insecurities, especially with my children and myself as a parent. Realizing that just because I have set ideas in my mind about raising unique and different children doesn't mean that those children want to always be different and unique because their is nothing wrong with blending in.
What I am learning as a parent is so much more then me saying anything at all. I am learning as my children get older to listen, to let them speak their hearts, to reassure but to sit quietly, to touch them when needed and to bodily let them know that I am on their team. That they are "who" I love, not the "who" I want them to be.