“Momma?” She asked from the back seat, with a twinge of trepidation in her voice. “Momma? I don’t have any friends there. I’m a little scared.”
We were doing our semi-regular drive by of her new preschool. The transition from daycare to “big girl school” is going to be the biggest of her three year old life, and I’ve been pushing all the Fun and Good and Happy of it hard.
Because, after all, she’s leaving our wonderful daycare and friends she’s had since she was 8 months old. She’d never really been a “new” kid there. Other kids had come into HER class, not the other way around. She is being taken from her secure place, and plopped into a brand new one with no familiar faces.
Once she put words to her worries, I opened my mouth to reassure her. Of COURSE she’d make friends. That’s how three year olds work, ya’ll. I’ve seen her become “best friends” with someone based on wearing a similar t-shirt, or just by stopping to play with the little girl down the street in her driveway. She will, of course, have friends at her new school.
But just as I was about to launch into my usual “rainbows and sunshine” speech about all of the new friends she would make, and how she’ll still see her old friends when we go to pick up her brother, and etc. etc. and positivity and blah blah blah, something stopped me.
That’s not what she needed.
She needed it to be okay to be scared. She needed to know it’s okay to be vulnerable.
Let’s be clear. I have a hard time with scared & vulnerable.
I am, at my core, a “fake it til ya make it” kind of gal. Uncomfortable situation? Slap a smile on and power through. Unsure of myself? Act like I’m not until others believe it.
I glanced back and saw her eyes meet mine in the mirror, looking at me to guide her through her new feelings and fears.
And I decided to get right on her level.
“You know what baby? I’m scared too.”
And with those words – it all changed.
We talked about how at the same time that she’s starting a new school with new friends, I’ll be starting a new job with new coworkers. And just like her, I wasn’t totally sure what to expect, but I knew one thing we could do.
We could be brave.
Because being brave doesn’t mean pretending you aren’t scared. Being brave doesn’t mean hiding the parts of you that are vulnerable
It means saying, “I’m scared, and I’m still taking this leap.”
Once G and I settled on being brave girls, we worked out a “super secret” signal to send each other when we see each other at school so we know we’re being brave.
A thumbs up.
So thumbs up to you, brave mommas. For serving your families, for making choices every day for your children, for doing So. Many. Things.
Let’s be vulnerable. Let’s be brave.