Up until recently, I've spent my life feeling bad about my dislike for certain "fun" things. My tendency toward prissiness kept me away from a lot of things that are usually a given for people to love: swimming, getting messy, rides at the fair, etc. Those were never my thing, and I was teased and harped on for it as a kid and am, still, today.
It's not a mean thing to tease someone about. It's not ridicule or bullying. So I took it to heart and accepted it as a bad part of my personality. It never even crossed my mind that it was OK to be the way I was. Honestly, not until Lyla started to show her personality did my eyes open to the way I had been looking at myself in that regard.
We drove 20 minutes to a nearby state park over the weekend, and Lyla's disdain for getting dirty was more evident than ever. Not even five minutes after our feet hit the muddy rocks did she announce, "Me all done. Me ready go bye-bye." Forty-five minutes later, "Me no like beach. Me go home."
I was frustrated with her for not enjoying herself. For spending 25 of the 60 minutes we were there complaining about and then trying to follow my directions to get the mud off her feet and shoes.
And when I was squatting all the down, and leaning all the way over, with Poppy in the front pack and Lyla using my shoulder for balance. When I was physically off kilter trying to rub her sandals in the grass up above the beach, I realized it.
I realized I was helping her do this because she's my daughter, and I want her to be comfortable, but also because I know how it feels.
Yes, you have to stay here because we're here as a family. No, you don't have to stay muddy because no one else minds the mess. She minds. And I mind. And if Gracie has made me more willing to get a little dirty to enjoy life with her, then Lyla has made me more confident in a part of me that lacked it all these years. "Prissy" is a part of me. And just these past few months, I've been OK with that. Seeing it in my little girl, loving it in my little girl, has shown me that it really is just a part of who we are. And it's perfectly fine.