A tiny bit of background–
Back in my school days, I was neither popular nor unpopular. I was a very good student– some would have referred to me as a nerd or a geek. I’m good with that. I wasn’t athletically talented, nor was I a flop on the field. Mainly, I didn’t enjoy doing sports, but I could do rather well at them if pressed.
All this to say– I was never chosen last for anything. I also never came in last place. I most certainly did NOT always take first, but what matters right now is just that I never, ever remember being “last” even once in my life.
My six-year-old? Is often last.
And I’m struggling with that.
When she was barely four-years-old and trying out ballet, it was hard to watch. She had such a hard time keeping up and couldn’t follow along. My stomach would wrap itself in knots at the “parent observation” classes and, to be honest, when the session ended, I was relieved.
When I take her to karate now, I see how hard it is for her, even though she swears she enjoys it. Not only does she have low muscle-tone, but she just doesn’t have that innate ability to coordinate her limbs super smoothly. It takes her a moment, through observation of her peers, to figure out what she’s supposed to be doing. As a result, her kicks, blocks, and yells always take place a noticeable breath or two after the others.
When I watch her on a playground, happily cavorting with her friends, I smile. And then they all take off running, sprinting to the next activity or piece of equipment. Little legs fly and strong young bodies seem to soar… and there’s my precious C., bringing up the rear. Always at the back of the pack.
Now, I could write on and on about what an absolute miracle it is that my amazing child, born at barely 24 weeks gestation, can even do any of these things. Who would have gazed at that one pound little girl and envisioned ballet lessons, belt promotions, and giddy playground dates? I could write about that all day. It’s more my style and it’d be far more fun to read, I’m sure…
But that’s not what I’m struggling with. I’m struggling with how to handle and process the fact that, well, my child is last.
For now, she either doesn’t notice or it doesn’t seem to bother her and I guess I need to just appreciate that. C. is well-liked and those who know her story are all amazed by all she can do. Honestly, even those who don’t know her story are often amused by this whip-slim, determined little firecracker with a high little voice and a wheezy infectious laugh.
But I just keep wondering… will it always be this way? Is she going to notice one day? Will I have to gather those slim shoulders in my arms and wipe away her tears when she realizes?
I just don’t know yet. Do you?
What do you do when your child is last???