For Alice on Your Sixth Birthday

Dear Alice

On Sunday you will be six!

This year will always be remembered for how much your confidence started to bloom. Last October, almost ten months ago – you changed primary schools. I can still vividly remember being a nervous wreck the week before we broke the news to you. Knowing what a shaky start you first had at primary school almost two years ago, I was dreading the move. I couldn’t eat or sleep and wound myself up in knots about it. You weren’t very happy once we told you, but on your first day you practically skipped into your classroom with the two girls who were watching out for you and you never looked back! Yes there were some off days, but on the whole I couldn’t believe how smooth the transition was. I guess it was eased by the brilliant staff and school as well as some fantastic new friends.

Still smiling after your first day at the new school

Social Life

Within weeks, you were having plenty of invites to friends’ houses which was a new thing for you and you loved it! I could barely keep up with your hectic social life – having friends over for tea and then going to their houses. It was so lovely to see you enjoying this, and despite not getting much information from you, it seemed like you were doing brilliantly with school too. I’m so grateful that you love your school and that you have met some great friends. It finally feels like such a relief to not have to worry about the ridiculous school situation or your behaviour at school anymore!

Around the same time as the move in schools you also started Rainbows and because you joined with a local friend, this didn’t seem to phase you at all and you enjoyed (and still love) all the arts and craft activities.

First day at Rainbows!

Ballet

You also started ballet but this was more problematic! Many of your class mates were at ballet and you were desperate to join them, but before your first lesson you started waking up at night and crying about going. You were completely torn and cross with yourself because you wanted to join, but felt so anxious about starting a new class on your own. Eventually after cancelling a couple of times, you made it there and just like school, you loved it. You were asked if you wanted to perform within the ballet show in July which meant spending most of the weekend at the venue and away from us. I thought you would opt out, instead you surprised us all by saying you wanted to do it. On the weekend of the show itself, you were completely nochalant in spending so much time away from us. Yes you were tired, but you enjoyed the independence of being with your friends. We, on the other hand, like most of the other parents who came to see the show, fell to emotional pieces seeing you all perform with such confidence up on the stage!

Loving the ballet show – performing as a unicorn!

Anxiety 

It seems that just as your confidence is boosted with things like starting a new school and performing at the ballet show, your sensitive and anxious side is never far away. Despite having been at your swimming lessons for the past year and a half, you still get incredibly anxious about going every single Saturday morning. And whilst you have been happy going to the weekly Rainbows meetings, if there’s an outing or excursion, you still get worried and proceed to give me a list of questions involving what time you will be leaving, what time you will be picked up and where the toilets will be. I’ve had to remind myself this past year that you’re still only five. I know that I would have been far more timid at your age.

You worry about a lot of things and you can be quite self conscious. You hate it if I catch you dancing or singing your heart out, it’s almost like you can’t let yourself go fully which pulls at my heart. A few months ago I had a message from the school to say that you’d hurt yourself. When I questioned you about it, you were angry that I’d brought it up. I can see that you don’t want to talk about anything that upsets or embarrasses you but I hope in time that you can open up to me more. Eventually I’m sure that you will come to shrug off concerns that people might be watching you. So what if they are?!

Your anxiety is something that shouldn’t be new to me as I know that I was (and still am!) a bit of a worrier too. It’s a crucial part of what makes us who we are. I only hope that as you move to being six and beyond, your new found confidence can continue to grow.

Happy birthday my sweet, sensitive Alice. xxxx

 

 

10 thoughts on “For Alice on Your Sixth Birthday

  1. Aw, this is a lovely post. Even though Alice seems anxious at times, she must have quite an inner strength to be so independent and join in all these different groups. Happy birthday to her! #kcacols

  2. It’s funny how much we worry about what other people think of us when we’re little. That seems to peak in the teenage years. Then somewhere along the way we realize that life is too short to care about silly things like that. Your little girl will get there too. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time

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