A few weeks ago at the Preschool End of Year Picnic, Sister's teacher asked if I could encourage her to say her name in the End of Year Program. Apparently, at the end of the program, each child walks to the microphone and says their first and last name before getting their diploma. In practice, she did it the first two days but for the last practice, she wouldn't say it. Sister is pretty shy at school but she's come so far since she started in the fall. She has two little girlfriends in her class. One is way more shy than Sister and the other is not at all a shy girl. The two days that Sister sat next to B, the non-shy girl, she said her name and the day she sat next to H, her shy friend, she wouldn't say it. Neither did H. I suggested that she be sat next to B more often for practice so that her outgoing nature would possibly influence Sister. The teacher agreed and we had a talk with Sister.
The next school day, Sister was so excited when we picked her up. She had said her name at practice!! Teacher had given her a note to bring home saying how proud she was that she had been able to do it. Every day following (yeah, I think it's quite a lot of practicing, too!) she said it. Still, I was unsure she was going to say it in front of eleventy thousand parents on actual program night. We talked about it on the way to the school and she assured us that she would say it. Even practiced in the car.
At every other program this year, she freezes when it's time to perform in front of all of those people. With cameras.
On stage during their song, she didn't freeze! She played her little blow up guitar and did some of the hand motions. I was proud. As she came up to her turn to get her diploma, I was holding my breath. The other kids in her class said their names and it was so cute when it came out a little jumbled and shaky (they are only three, after all.) Sister approaches the mic and someone said her name. Perfectly clear and loud. For a second, I didn't recognize that voice on the loudspeaker. It was so.....so.....so, grown up. I stared at the little sweet blonde baby walking down those steps with tears in my eyes. She said her name. She said her name and she said it loudly and proudly and with more confidence than I knew she had. I was so proud. And, at the same time, so sad. It hadn't occurred to me before that moment that she was such a big girl whose grasp on mommy's leg just got a little looser.