Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Shy Vs. Stage

I've woken up the past two days with a slamming headache, which says Good Morning like nothing else, ya know? There's something about having severe headaches/migraines that makes life during those times feel foggy and surreal. Reminds me of childbirth, actually.

So the fact that our friends are moving seems unreal right now, as does the post I wrote about it, along with all of your thoughtful comments. I'm actually appreciating a little distance from that reality, so, you know, silver linings and all that. (Seriously, thank you for your kind and understanding words.)

But still. Headaches suck. Especially when you live in fear (actual FEAR) of that headache crossing some invisible yet very noticeable line into Migraine Territory.

Aaaaanyway, moving on.

My big girls are taking a theater class this week. I'm not sure if I've ever described their crippling shyness on this here blog, but it's true: they are horribly, painfully shy. Even with people we know really well, if we see them out of the girls' normal "comfort zone" (like at the grocery store), they hide behind me and refuse to speak.

But they also have this inner desire to perform. They love High School Musical, Camp Rock, and the like, and easily memorize songs and lyrics, which they belt out with an amazing accuracy and heartbreaking earnestness.

(If you've ever had dinner at our house, you know this. Because it's inevitable that at some point during the evening, one of the girls sidles up next to me to whisper "We're having a show. It starts in 10 minutes."

And then our poor, unsuspecting dinner guests are coerced invited to watch the girls' performance. Sometimes, it's just singing. Other times it's dancing or gymnastics. Lately, they've been into writing up simple "plays" to perform. If our dinner guests have children, those kids are dressed in costume and given parts as well.)

This theater class is so good for them- and fun for me- because they get to wrestle their inner desire to perform with their shyness. It's fantastic to see them become comfortable enough throughout the week to overcome The Shy and participate in a short play. On a real! stage!, no less.

As I watch them up there on that stage, I see them shed another thin layer of their babyhood, revealing- if even just a tiny bit- the confident, self-assured young adults of their future-selves. It's magical; you'll just have to trust me.

P.S. I'm happy to report that upon completion of this post, my headache seems to be GONE! I'm sitting here happily eating a wrap, stuffed full of CSA veggies, and feeling (as I often do after a prolonged headache) on top of the world. I can do anything! My head doesn't hurt!


Jess said...

I was super super shy as a kid: wouldn't talk to people I didn't know, wouldn't order for myself in restaurants, never said anything, hid, blushed, etc. And now look at me. Sounds to me like your girls are headed down the same path. How fun to observe.

Marie Green said...

Jess- Yes, that's them. They often won't talk to people the DO know... they get so embarrassed, they hide, they refuse to utter a sound- not even "hi". And yet, I see their desire to shed that... and what better way than on stage? ;)

Lawyerish said...

I know that headache fear! It's the worst! I'm glad yours didn't erupt into a migraine.

I also was very shy as a child and chose to take ballet lessons because I longed to perform but didn't want to open my mouth on stage. It turned into a 20-year passion for me, and later I tried acting and loved that, too! It's so great that your girls have this opportunity to develop that side of themselves!

Kelsey said...

Friends of ours have eight year old twin girls who are exactly the same. They are incredibly smart, kind, creative children, but they barely speak outside of people they are incredibly comfortable with. The family will come to play at our house and they will talk to Harper in the safety of the basement playroom, but they barely utter a word to me. BUT I've known them for almost five years and they've come a long way in that time.

I don't think of your girls as being shy, but I guess that goes back to what we choose to share vs. what we don't.

Marie Green said...

Kelsey- yes, this is exactly how they are, even with people we've known for years. Especially if asked a direct question, they will RARELY answer... which seems rude, but they HATE being put on the spot like that. If it's their idea to talk, different story, but they're still quite shy.

Also, I don't blog about their shyness much because they AREN'T shy around me, so I forget... it's only when I see them out of our home-context that I remember how shy they are.