I hoped that as Maeve grew older, that as I introduced her to more kids and she played with more kids she didn't know at the park, etc., that she would outgrow her fear of others, but as I survey what her responses are like at the moment, I think it's actually getting worse.
I did the best I could as far as getting her into nonthreatening social situations, like our old drop-in gymnastics class, and she has made friends with individual kiddos, kids of friends of mine. But where she used to be able to ignore other kids on the playground if they weren't too disruptive, she now clings to me every time she sees a new face.
I know how she feels; my parents bought me a book when I was little called "Today I Feel Shy", and it was kind of a collection of poems and short essays about what it feels like to be shy. I absolutely adored that book, and read it over and over when I was having a hard day. And no one who knows me today would ever think that I was a shy kid, not in the least. I hit my stride in college, and discovered that I'm actually happiest when I'm around other people. And I learned how to interact easily with strangers there, too, because absolutely everyone was a stranger.
But now I cringe, worrying about what-all Maeve will go through because of being a shy person. Will she be socially awkward, get teased, and give up on trying to make friends like I did? I hope she finds her own way to navigate feeling a little shy, and I hope I can, somehow, be a help. But it's more than likely that this is just another thing I can do very little about, except encourage and comfort her.
|More at home with the bushes than other kids, really.|