I hear a lot of comments about how my kids look like me. My friends say they are a lot like me - which is, in many ways, true. They are outspoken and opinionated and (in my humble opinion) funny as hell. I like those common traits (I crack myself up so that's why I think it's a common trait). There are others that give me concern.
I'm a nervous person by nature. I've had anxiety issues for as long as I can remember. I always assumed it was because of growing up with a parent who died - it made sense to me. But now I have a kid with anxiety issues. I see the look on her face and I know the feeling in her tummy. She recognizes it in me, too. When my anxiety levels rise, no matter how hard I try to conceal it, she comes over to put her hand on mine, a move that always relaxes me. She takes care of me as much as I take care of her. The other kid is aware of all of this, too, but she doesn't have the same anxieties. She has a confidence I envy. The anxious kid handles it well. I like to think I've taught her well but I don't know if that's true. She might just be smarter than me. And maybe this is genetic.
I dropped them off for a girl scout trip the other night and saw the look on her face. One kid went to play with the other girls. This one just stood by my side, very quiet. I knew what was happening. I try different strategies with her - they all eventually work. It's just a matter of getting her to trust in that fact. I let her shed a few tears and reminded her how much she enjoyed these trips. I reassured her that as soon as the caravan left, she'd be okay. She trusted me.
I had a similar experience to my nervous daughter's last night. I was supposed to go see a show with friends - friends who don't know about my nervous tendencies. Would they want to be up front? I can't handle crowds like that. Will they make a big deal if I need to leave early (I stayed until the very end!)? My enthusiasm for the show waned before I got there. But I went. And I'm so glad I did. I think my boyfriend explained it best: it's an issue of inertia. If I can get past my issues enough to get moving, all will be okay. And it was better than okay. I had a great time - just what I needed.
I'm waiting for the call saying the girls are back from their camping adventure. Judging by the lack of calls and texts earlier - none saying to come pick up my child - I will assume both girls were fine. Guess I'll find out soon enough.