Monday, November 11, 2013

My Kids

The girls and I spent the past weekend in West Lafayette. We were there to attend the PUDM (that Purdue University Dance Marathon.) It wasn’t our first dance marathon and so we went in knowing a great time would be had.

We drove over three hours to get there and spent the night in a hotel on Saturday.

We were greeted at the door by the students who’d volunteered to spend the entire weekend entertaining the kids who were there to motivate the dancers. The PUDM raises money for Riley Hospital for Children. So there are a lot of ‘Riley Kids’ at these events, kids who have had to go to Riley Hospital for one reason or another.

After we met with Sara and got settled in, she tried to engage A and O in activities.

Both girls looked at me, silently telling me that just because a college student was there to keep them busy for the next few hours, I was not free to leave their sight.

Sigh. I didn’t plan to leave. I don't want to leave them any more than they want me to leave.

But I did look at the other parents sitting in the family area, chatting, relaxing, watching their kids run from one end of the room to another and then even out of that room to find someplace more interesting.

I watched the other college students carry kids around, play games, and converse with the other kids and I…I apologized to Sara for the shyness of my children. I told her it was tough to be paired with kids who don’t want to leave their mom’s side.

And you know what? I feel bad for apologizing. My kids can’t help how they are. And eventually, they warmed up. Sara was awesome, she didn’t give up on them and after a couple of hours, they were running around, playing, being silly along with the other kids.

I am making a promise to myself that I won’t ever do that again. I won’t apologize for shyness or whatever it is that makes my kids prefer my company to most anyone else’s. How lucky am I that Alyssa asked me last night, “Come sit next to me?” even though we’d just spend the entire weekend together, including over eight hours in the car.

They’re unique kids who take a little extra time to warm up to strangers and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

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