We sat on the fringes, watching the other moms and their toddlers tackle the kiddy gym equipment.
The kids were squealing with delight, their moms clapping and looking on in encouragement.
You sat there, looking ahead of you at I-don’t-know-what.
I sat there, desperately wondering if there was something wrong with you. That at 2 years, 2 months, you show no interest in the things other toddlers do.
For 25 minutes, I wrestled with you, trying to keep you in the circle of activity of our first toddler gym class, where everyone was singing along and clapping.
You sat on my lap, facing me, biting ferociously into my shoulder, showing me in no uncertain terms that you hated this.
The rest of the time, you kept saying “Bye!”, and leading me to the door, reaching for the handle, wanting to leave.
I kept steering you away from the door, trying to interest you in the things all the other kids were doing.
Only when they brought out the balls and bust out the bubbles, did you finally step into that circle.
And I sat there on the outside looking in.
Wondering if there isn’t anything wrong with you, but with my expectactions of you.
That you’re not like other kids, never have been.
You’ve always been a little cautious and wary of new environments and strangers.
You’ve always taken a little longer than other kids to warm up to people you’ve just met.
You’ve always forged your own path.
You’ve always clung onto what is familiar to you and those you love.
You’ve always thrived on routine and knowing what to expect.
You’ve always surprised me with your introspectiveness, in your own toddler-like way.
So as I sit, outside looking in at you, my son, know that Mama is proud of you. Always.