Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Raising A Pint-Sized Princess

It's Thursday and to make this Friday Eve a million times better, today Deena from Shoes to Shiraz is reflecting on her journey raising a truly LITTLE lady. She shares what it's been teaching her and some encouragement for YOU today. I love everything about this gorgeous gal and I think you will too. 

Meet Deena.
A French teaching fashionista, mama bear, and baseball playing blogger, Deena's hats are as varied as her incredible shoe collection. You can AND SHOULD follow this stylish sassy sister over at her blog Shoes to Shiraz, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest

I met Deena waaay back when I was a baby teacher learning all her wonderful ways inside her classroom. She's been my teaching mentor, blogging encourager and a rocking good friend. Deena can simultaneously discuss my favourite Canadian style house in French while organizing six different projects on her phone. Her heart is as big as her shoe closet and I am honoured that she is sharing her story with us here today. 

I often wonder what people see when they are observing our family. 

Confession:  I love people watching and one of my guilty pleasures is observing the dynamics in other families.  Put me on a bench, in the mall, with a coffee and I'm a happy camper.

Three years ago, our daughter was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency and we have come a very far in the time since her treatment started.  Three-year-old Lucia was in the 0th percentile.  She was a pint-sized princess, indeed.  Now, she is in the 50th.  Just recently we closed the door on a very stressful chapter in the process. You can read about it here.  It seems fitting that, in gratitude, I look back on a post I wrote almost 3 years ago.

What wonderful purpose blogging serves as a tool for reflection.


I know people are watching us because every single time we go out, we get comments on Lucia's size and if we don't get comments, we still get the deer-in-headlights stare.  I should really start recording them for entertainment purposes.  Last week when I had the kids at Co-op, I was paying and Lucia was playing in the cart, the cashier gave me the she's really too young to be walking look.  Most of the time people are shocked when I say she's almost 3.  Dan had the kids at Walmart last week and the cashier started baby-talking to Lucia can you say baby, little girl? and Willis looked at her and said she's 2, she can talk and doesn't wear diapers.  

I know this used to bug me, I'm glad I'm at a place now that I can laugh and secretly blog about them ;)

But sometimes it can go the other way.

In this particular instance, there was another young family sitting one booth away from us and being we were the only two tables in the restaurant  (because only young families go for pancakes at 4:00 (sadly this can be am or pm) at Grainfield's restaurant, it was easy to overhear their conversations.  Not like I was purposely listening, I'm not that crazy of a people watcher.

At one point I had walked Lucia to the bathroom and like any other moment I have, they were watching.  In this case, after we had returned, I had noticed the mom was talking a bit louder, almost in that purposely loud voice, wanting you to hear her voice.  She became almost apologetic at this point, talking to her little boy (my guess he was 2), saying things like: don't worry you'll be talking soon.

It took me a moment to catch on to what was happening: it was like she was feeling guilty that her son wasn't as developed as my obviously young child.  I mean, Lucia looks like a 15 month old and to see her walking, talking and likely jumping around must be flabbergasting   But this is the first time that someone has seemingly felt bad about THEIR kid...usually it's me.  Sigh.

It's strange how perceptions can change if I just look at something from another angle. I wish people moms would stop being so hard on themselves and feel confident in what they do so wonderfully.  I know that my whole outlook on parenting has changed since we've been placed in the observed category.

Lucia- 3 years old.  


Looking back, I wish I could give myself the confidence to know that regardless what the outcome was to be, I had the strength deep within me to deal with this.  So many times as parents, we doubt ourselves, we question our decisions and yes, that is a part of parenting, but also, believing in ourselves should be a pivotal part.  We need to have more faith in our abilities to conquer, to overcome, to dole our punishment, to be parent.

I would hope that future Deena has that.  I hope she can take a deep breath, step out of the moment and remember what it felt like to have little confidence and to feel so very observed.  And I hope she can draw strength from what she has been through to know that she can get through whatever comes next too.

And you know what? I hope you can too.  Whatever you are struggling with, be it teething or a scary diagnosis, find it deep within yourself to believe.

Believe that you are good and you can move mountains and above all, you love your little one and that is all they will remember.

You got this, my friend.

I believe in you too.

Lucia- 5 years old

Love Deena? DUH! Here's her blog Shoes to Shiraz, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Why not show her some love in the comments below and give her encouraging words a share?

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