From Screamapillar to Young Role Model

When my youngest daughter was a baby, it became apparent, within the month, that she was not havin’ ‘nobody but me and mama. We had a few family friends that she would accept as proper humans. My mom. Big sister. Always big sister. But not Grampa….*Never* Grampa!! There is many a photo of her having all out mental breakdowns on the lap of various grandparents and squirming away screaming from family. At a proper distance, she would observe. She was curious. She would participate. She was very social. She was not shy….so long as no one touched her. Even addressing her directly would make her divert eye contact. Slowly…casually…but definitely. My dad always liked to make sport of this obvious caution, as if something were wrong with her. Truthfully, I think her inner workings intimidated him. Even today as he lives in a house with her, what he truly understands about her is very limited. The same things that kept he and I apart are obvious in the two of them. We are just different people.

When we eventually found ourselves far away from all these well meaning, “suspicious” humans, we were it. There were no sitters to call because it hadn’t become the norm due to her upset with anyone but these 1 or 2 people outside the home. There was just no one around anymore. We were all in a new place and making due. We did our activities as a family. She was home doing art with her mom. Or out and about with her and sister to museums, forest trails and playgrounds. Observing. And observing more. Day in and day out. Keeping quiet.

As her trusts, abilities and interests were growing, we (me) made the decision, at three, that it was time for preschool. She was over looking at us every day and ready to move on with her life. With a new leopard print sweater, and clunky blinky shoes, I took her to her prospective Montessori for an interview. When it came time for the other teacher to take her to tour the school, my stomach hit the floor. It had been going so well up till now! Now she’s going to have a high flung screamfest in front of these people and it will be over for us! You’re going to take her?! Away!?

…but away, indeed, she went. Quietly. Willingly holding Miss Laura’s hand. She returned fifteen minutes later…still alive…bouncing and full of confidence. Excited to get started. She was ready for this.

She has a lot of struggles. Like myself, she is an analyzer. She’s a thinker and she loves logic and order. Hard facts, not assumptions. And if you tell her something, there better be evidence and reasons to back it up. Because of this she has to learn things a certain way. Thoughts can weigh her down until they make sense. She stares a lot while she works things out in her head. She needs lots of decompression time. She draws diagrams for everything. She experiments. She builds. She tests. She uses everything for the opposite purpose it was intended. And technology is no match for her.

Around the time kindergarten started, I noticed she was telling me about every event coming down the grapevine. Football games. Art classes. Community groups. Birthday parties. Play auditions. Summer camps. Science fairs. Parades. Tree lightings. Concerts. Poetry competitions. Even historical reenactments for God’s sake…and she Wanted. To. Do. It. All. She wanted to try everything. She wanted to be a part of everything.

So we did. And we do. My time becomes hers as I am determined to let her walk through these experiences and opportunities I never had when I was little. The ones that were available, I was either too shy to try, or my father had chased me out of (bowling, baseball, cub scouts, young authors, etc.).

Today, I don’t know where the tiny, doubtful, furrowed brow, observer went. Although I miss her dearly at times, I am in love with the brilliant and fearless adventurer and the lover of life that she has become. She’s joined as part of two community youth groups this schoolyear and will be fulfilling her lifelong dream of being a safety guard next trimester πŸ˜‚ Since this post became longer than I expected, I’m looking forward to explaining her Youth Choir and the Star Program in a few days. For now, I will leave you with some snippets of my daughter’s routine and insight into her busy little brain.


Inventions & art
Gem excavating, taking on fashion sewing, and fall art at the library
After school Power of Drawing class
Youth Choir leadership group
Star Disability Inclusion Program
She wanted pink and purple hair, so we tried that, too!!
A special postcard from her new teacher 😍

17 thoughts on “From Screamapillar to Young Role Model

  1. Awww this is adorable, Sam! I’m glad she’s come out of her shell and is thriving! She’s lucky to have such a supportive dad!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It’s *really….really* forced me to be social with all of these…PEOPLE! involved in these things. No one said there would be people involved, lolol! It’s like when a parent is afraid of spiders or something, but you have to pretend you aren’t so you can set a good example for themπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      πŸ•·Spiders = PersonsπŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘§

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Omg I have to pretend I’m not scared of spiders all the time! My work kids hate them and their mom is way more afraid than I am so it always falls onto me. We can be brave! We got this!!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Absolutely!! πŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™Œ (😭)

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful . Just will get better and better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. It’s been great getting to know this “new” person the last 2 years!!


  3. Awesome that she has someone to help her foster that creativity! I think kids that are very certain of what they want, and don’t want are awesome. Mine has known from the start and I admire his will and determination.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s hard when they’re little and it seems simply defiant, picky or willful. As she’s gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate and be able to stand up for her and say ‘she has a certain way she likes things’ and to know exactly what they are! Finally!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. To imagine that you took the time to know your daughter, to respect how she thinks and views the world and to accommodate her so that she could move through so fearlessly is the best parenting I have read about in a long time. To see how she’s become successfully and brilliantly her own person with the self-confidence and enthusiasm and fearlessness to create, to learn, to do all that she wants! WOW! Sam – you’re the best!! Parent of the century award goes to….YOU!
    I wish someone had taken the time to encourage, to protect and to allow me to be myself as you have done for her! I think back in my day (and maybe yours?) we didn’t have parents who respected our uniqueness and instead of stifling it, encouraged it and allowed us to grow and to blossom!
    I am standing and applauding you and your daughter! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janie! 😭😭😭 Thank you so, so much! You’re absolutely right about old school parents! My dad shut down everything new I tried right down to what tennis shoes I wanted and a certain baseball hat I wore back in the day. My clothes didnt look right, i didnt answer his friends right, not good enough right away at sports…I would have never dared ask to do afterschool programs about things he didn’t understand. I think all of that really helped me be SURE not to judge things she likes or wants to try, or fail at! I never want her to hear that voice from me. She will have plenty of other issues with me I’m sure but that won’t be one of them! πŸ˜‚


      1. As I said before and I’ll repeat: You’re a great dad!!! xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

  5. She is just like you 😌

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I knoooow! It’s terrifying πŸ˜‚ Sometimes I hear myself describing her and I realize I’m outing myself…to myself!! But, you know what, it helps so much in my understanding of her and it’s nice to be able to tell her ‘believe me, I understand’ when she’s struggling. And when she’s faced eith dudes like my dad trying to take the helm and she’s resistant. It also makes me a little sad about the time we did miss when she was little. But thankfully thats become a distant memory. Wooot!


      1. You *are outing yourself πŸ˜‚. I’m reading it thinking…. that’s you. Oh, that’s you, too. Iololoool. That is a blessing. Like her Papa, One more human in the world that has heart and passion. She is not going to be pushed around or be told how she should think. I love that. There are so many many memories ahead, to create.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ So funny!….although my diagramming skills are rusty these days, lol. Another difference is that her energy is unlimited where I am ready for bed at 8 every single night! We do team up against grampa often…jokingly rolling our eyes at each other about him. Or when he says something jerky we just look at each other…and that’s enough. I feel strangely vindicated for SO many years in those moments πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Thank you for understanding this and that even the sweetest kids *can* be total jerks sometimes!!


          1. Oh, yeah that energy difference…..well, that’s what melatonin is forπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. And I’m not even saying ‘jk’. I haven’t had the kiddie-tonin for a long time, so…either Jeh is sleepy by 7 something, or I put the kettle on and make Sleepytime tea for kids or chamomile. And that does not always, those unmatched energy levels make you want to cry sometimes. That team up/ buddy system, is great…. it let’s her know that you’re on her side for sure, and hey, ‘Dad gets it.’ Looking at each other, jokingly rolling eyes when Grandpa says something jerky…. that is better than lashing out and always fighting against something in the Grandparents that may never change , because they are totally in their ways. You’re doing so good. πŸ™ŒπŸΎ

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Ohh no, we live on those here. I’m even starting to! I cant get her to drink tea which I don’t blame her cause I’m not a super fan either….I need to try though 😣

              He was harrassing her so often about things that were based in the fact that he doesn’t know he routine or the house routine. I’ve gotten to where I’m just mouthing “iiiit’s ooookayy” silently to her behind his back when shes freaking out. Like “yes, im aware hes unreasonable. Its all right!”…always calms her down when she’s worried he’s “getting her in trouble”


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