Thursday, May 9, 2013

From anxious to awesome!

When I would say Emma was painfully shy as a baby/toddler/preschooler, I wasn't kidding.  Just ask anybody who met her.  She would cling to me, not make eye contact, not talk...and when Tim and/or I would leave her someplace, she would cry--a lot.  Tim and I figured it was best to start her in preschool when she was two going on three to work on that separation anxiety and the social skills.  We enrolled her in First Baptist Preschool and in September of 2010 she went to her first day of preschool.  See her down there in the picture?  Cautiously excited about this new adventure that mom and dad had been talking up for the last few weeks....yeah....that lasted just until it was time to say bye bye at Miss Jill's door.  A quick hug and kiss bye bye and we were off.  Emma was crying.  My phone was attached to me those first few weeks of school.  Emma was dealing with it, but not very happy about it.  She would cry every day on the playground.  She would have to know exactly what was coming next during their daily activities and she would have to be given direction by the teacher on what center to go to.  By the end of her first year she had improved tons.  No more crying at drop off or on the playground.  She still had a hard time making those independent choices on which center to go to and still needed to know what was coming next on the daily agenda.  

Summer break!!  woo hoo!!!!!

September 2011 rolls around and it's time for preschool!  See that picture down there?  Still cautions...a little more on the excited side.  Emma wasn't sure what to think.  She had gotten so use to Miss Jill's class and Miss Jill's schedule.  Who was this Miss Sara we were talking about...and a different class room?  No way!  But, we told her she would have the same friends, so that was a plus.  The first few weeks were tough.  Emma would get teary eyed at drop off.  She would try SO hard not to cry, with her bottom lip pouting and quivering.  Trying to hold it in so the other kids wouldn't see.  And then...this was presented to her in class...

You see what that says there?  No tears all day!  This was huge!  Emma was so proud of herself.  I could see the confidence in her growing.  Emma developed just as close a relationship with Miss Sara that she did with Miss Jill.  Emma would give Miss Sara a hug every day when she left.  She started interacting more with the kids and actually making her own choices as far as which center she wanted to play in.  I even started to see a difference with her outside of school when we would go to playgrounds, playdates, etc.  At first, if there were any kids playing on the playground, she wouldn't go on it.  She would sit next to me and watch.  As I saw her confidence growing, I would see her inch her way on to the playground while there were other kids on it.  She still would not talk or interact with other kids.  She would get out of the way fast if another kid was running around her or playing near her.  But...she was making her way.

Then it was summer break!!  Woo hoo!!

September 2012.  My cautious little girl pretty excited about Pre-K!  But no more Miss Sara and different class room?  Oh boy....

Emma was a pro at this by now...but the first few weeks took some adjusting.  I don't remember any tears, but I do remember some lingering in the doorway of the classroom or an extra long hug.  Emma would tell us every day that she had "no tears" and had a "great day".  Parent/teacher conferences were scheduled and Tim and I got to sit down with Miss Susan to discuss Emma.  This was our first parent/teacher conference.  I was nervous.  It was great hearing about Emma from her teacher's perspective.  About what she was excelling at and what needed work.  Around this time she was still needing some direction as far as which centers to go to, but her teacher was pleased with the improvement she had seen since the beginning of the year. 

 And now here we are....May 2013 (just a few more weeks of Pre-K left)....and we just went to Emma's Kindergarten round-up last night.  We got to the school and were told which room Emma was going to go in and where we were to go for the presentation.  Uh oh...a new place...all new teachers...and all new kids.  We walked in...Emma still a little cautious, but she sat down at the table with the other kids and said bye bye to us.  Tim and I walked out to go learn all about her new school.  An hour or so later we went to pick her up and she declared "no tears!". 

Emma Conn is the name of her school.  Neat!
I can't believe how far Emma has come in the last 3 years.  She has gone from a painfully shy toddler to a little girl that everyone wants to play with.  I never thought we would get here.  It's hard to see your kid WANT to do things but not be able to.  To know what all they are missing out on because of the anxiety they are feeling.  To see her self-confidence build year by year brings tears to my eyes.  To see that cautions excitement turn in to pure enthusiasm has made me so proud of her and happy for her.  Emma will probably never want the lead in the school play but boy oh boy will she be the best supporting actress...or the set designer or the costume designer. 

Emma's gone from anxious to awesome!  
We are going to take Kindergarten by the horns!


Sara said...

Reading this has me in tears!!! I am so proud of Emma. She's such an amazing little girl and to see her ability to allow her light to shine the way it does now, is wonderful. I love being a teacher, especially when I have a student like Emma who has captured my heart. She's going to do great things, that daughter of yours!!!:)

Bryna Rodenhizer said...

Sweet, sweet Emma! So proud of her <3