When Your Kids Travel Back In Time To Rescue You

The topic of shyness has always been a big one in our house. I often try to disclose to my kids some of the shy related feelings and experiences I had growing up, as well as the shyness that I still inhabit to this day. I think any opportunity to share, or to appear more real or human to them, is a good one to take. 


When Nash stands motionless in the grocery store as someone tries to speak to him, I tell him that Mama used to do the same thing. I can’t tell you how many times I felt frozen in my own body as a kid, which yes, was partly because I was shy, but also partly due to the expectations of the world and the people in it. So I reassure him and tell him it’s ok to be nervous, Mama still gets nervous, too. 


When Shae talks about school and how quiet she is there, I tell her that Mama used to be the same way. I barely spoke in school, even in a University class when participation was a portion of the grade, I still didn’t raise my hand. Which yes, was partly because I was shy, but also partly because I was being told not to be shy. So I reassure her that it’s normal while also validating how hard it is, and I tell her that Mama still gets quiet, too. 


I also tell them that in the moments that matter, when it’s important to them and not to someone else, there’s no doubt they will rise to the occasion and choose to be brave, because Mama can be brave, too. 


I was standing in the kitchen the other day listening to them play together. They were playing school with toy trucks. Shae was the teacher and one of the dump trucks was named Taylor. The teacher asked Taylor a question and the dump truck didn’t respond. The teacher (Shae) then said, in the most calm and comforting voice, “it’s ok Taylor, just say what you need to say.” 


In an instant we travelled through time, and a wave of warmth floated through by body and cradled my little girl heart as I heard those loving words. I stood silently in the kitchen with a soft smile on my face as I breathed in a deep sigh of relief. I thought to myself, if they can protect me 30 years later, they won’t have any trouble protecting themselves. 


Whether it’s against the world or against their own thoughts that may at times be clouded with fear and doubt, these guys will be equipped and ready – because for those who don’t know, or for those who are still on the fence, I will say this as loudly as I can so the ones in the back can hear too: IT’S. OK. TO. BE. SHY. 

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