Natalie’s personality

July 2013

I can’t believe my little baby is already six. I can’t imagine life without her; she’s our bundle of energy. A couple of times she’s been on a sleepover by herself at my mom’s house leaving the house seeming strangely silent for just Steve, Jacob and I. Natalie adds sooooooooooooooooo much life to our home. She has a flair for being dramatic, in a cute way. She loves to put on shows for our family. She dances around the house. She sings throughout the day. She skips. She runs. She can jump on the trampoline non-stop for 30 minutes or more. Everything she does, she does with zeal. Even when I tuck her into bed at night and we sing “Jesus Loves Me”, she belts out sooooooo loudly at the top of her voice. It makes me smile. And yet all of that exuberance, zaniness and energy that the three of us are daily entertained with, gets tucked away and hidden in some small pocket of hers when she walks into other situations outside of our home. Today, for instance, I was standing with her in the registration line for a 4-day art camp and she said to me in a quiet, mousey voice “Mama, I’m scared.” She was coy, shy, soft-spoken and batted her eyelashes to briefly look up from the sidewalk as we inched our way forward in the line. As she left my side to go to the grassy area where the arriving kids had been asked to stand in a circle, I saw relief enter her eyes as she saw Ava, a friend she knows from Haven Academy. She quickly walked to Ava’s spot in the circle and was filled with delight as Ava turned and gave her a welcoming hello smile. But a small girl next to Ava immediately inched even closer to Ava, closing the gap of personal space that existed between her and Ava- clearly communicating to Natalie without saying a word, “Oh, I need to stand next to Ava. Please don’t take this space because she makes me comfortable. I’m not so sure about being here with all new people and I really need to be with Ava.” Natalie observed the quick move, received it well as though she completely understood and then moved around to Ava’s left side. Life was good. Two girls were at peace knowing that their friend Ava was their to make them feel comfortable.

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