Winter Anxiety

That darn groundhog saw his shadow this morning.

Six more weeks of winter.

Really, Phil?!

bricks

Phil is the groundhog that they pull out of a box or something like that in Pennsylvania and if he sees his shadow or not determines our weather patterns for the next 6 weeks.

We do have some crazy holidays in America, don’t we?

We teach our children to be good so that a man in a red suit will sneak into our homes while we sleep sometime between December 24th and before we wake on December 25th and give them gifts.

We dress ourselves and our kids up on the last night of October and knock on stranger’s doors asking them to give us candy.  If they don’t we will threaten to play a trick on them.

We do all of these things as tradition.  We don’t necessarily question what we are doing, we just do them out of repetition.

Do we really believe what the groundhog is telling us (well, he’s not telling us anything as he doesn’t talk but, WOW, wouldn’t that be something!) on February 2nd?

No, we don’t.

But we perform the ritual.  People wake up and listen to the news to hear what the weather is going to be like because of a rodent.

Because it’s tradition.

Traditions follow us everywhere we go.

In our daily lives, too.

We follow the same roads to work and school.

We eat dinner at the same-ish time every day.

We are creatures of habit.

When those habits or rituals get altered, some people can’t handle the change.

While others can go-with-the-flow.

I feel like I’m a go-with-the-flow person.

I do try to adhere to schedules, but if something doesn’t go as I have planned, I have learned to not sweat it and to deal with the change.

Today, Gigi is going to a friend’s house after school.

She’s in third grade.  This is her first after school change since she began going to school when she was three years old.

She is going to ride a different bus to her friend’s house and I won’t see her until many hours later when her friend’s mom drives her home.

We live within a small school district.  Everyone knows pretty much everyone else.  I trust that she will get on the right bus.  I have no concerns for her getting off at the friend’s house as her mom is a friend of mine.

But, I will miss her.

I will miss seeing her bound through our front door at 3:30.

It’s one day.  She won’t be doing this every day after school.

But, it’s a change today from our traditional way of after school procedures.

And it’s time for this change for her.

She’s had anxiety issues that have slowly resolved themselves over the years.

Anxiety pokes it’s ugly head up occasionally, as I’ve seen in the last few weeks when she has stated she doesn’t want to ever be on her tumbling or trampoline club’s competition teams.

“I don’t want all of those people looking at me” she has stated.

Change can be hard for her.  She has fears, yet she has come so far.

She used to hyperventilate when she was to perform with her kindergarten class during holiday performances in the school gymnasium.  She couldn’t do it.

Now she can stand in front of group of strangers to sing a duet with the children’s choir she is a member of.

gigichoir

But, her fears have slowly been creeping back into her head.

This is where parenting gets hard.

Do we sign her up for the competition team anyway?

To help her overcome what we see as an irrational fear, but a fear that is very real for her.

Do we let the fear win?

I have no idea.

I asked her “does this mean you will never try out for the volleyball team, track, or the spelling bee because people will be looking at you?”

She’s a super speller, by the way.  We never have to study her spelling words with her weekly like we did with her sister in elementary school.  Gigi aces her tests without our help.

I don’t know if it’s her age or internal changes in her body or the fact that anxiety just never really ever goes away.

Outwardly, Gigi can seem very confidant.  She has a YouTube channel.  She’s bubbly and goofy.  But, she has anxiety.

My hope for both of my daughters is for them to be the very best that they can be.  We push them to do their job (which right now, their job is SCHOOL) with 100% of themselves.

They both get good grades, straight As, and big sister recently was awarded for her good grades by being invited into the Junior Honors Society at her middle school.

Big sister has had to overcome A LOT.  She has come out with a gusto for life and doesn’t seem to be afraid of anything.  She does get nervous before performances or in new situations, but she manages to push it aside and move forward.

And she offers her advice for overcoming fears with her little sister.

Change is a part of life.

How we deal with it is a personal thing.  But, as a parent, we are obligated to teach.

We need to teach our children life skills, and we need to start at an early age.

Then we need to let them go.  And hope that what we have taught them has stuck.

Because change is everywhere.

Traditions are nice to have, but doing something different helps to keep us alive.

The groundhog may tell us that we have six more weeks of cold and snow.  He may tell us that spring is right around the corner.  He may be completely wrong with all of it.  Who knows.

Change happens every single moment our lives.

And living is what it’s all about, right?

 

 

 

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