Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Becoming a Big Kid

My daughter Hanah is about to turn seven years old. In fact, her birthday is just weeks away.

Seven is not necessarily a milestone age, but it definitely feels different than any other birthdays we've celebrated. I guess seven, in my mind, is when a child goes from being one of the "little kids" to the next step. I wouldn't say she's one of the "big kids" yet, but definitely somewhere in between. That makes me stop and think.

Last night Hanah had her first tee ball game. She's playing in the Nappanee Youth Baseball League for the Nationals.

I am so proud of her. Not because she's a great baseball player, but just because she was willing to give it a shot. Up to this point, whenever I would suggest she try something - Upward Basketball, dance lessons, etc. - she would always get really nervous and say she didn't want to do any of it. She's just a little reluctant to try new things, I guess.

But, for whatever reason, she was willing to give tee ball a try. And she enjoys it.

It hasn't been completely smooth sailing the whole time. Just a couple weeks ago, at bedtime, she told me she wanted to quit tee ball. She thought she wasn't good enough and wasn't making any friends on the team. I told her she had to play the entire season and then she could decide if she wanted to play the next year. She insisted she was quitting as soon as the season was over.

During last night's game Hanah hit the ball without using the tee both times she was up to bat. She also made a few catches (grounders) and threw the ball to her teammates really well.

As we were walking out to the van to go home, she said, "Well, I guess I won't quit when the season is over."

Getting older and trying new things is probably the most fulfilling thing to watch your children do. She's becoming more and more independent so, now more than ever, I want to make sure I'm teaching her the right things. I want to be ready to let go when it's time to let go - even though I am going to hold on as long as I possibly can.

Last night let me know that making her finish what she started was teaching her the right thing. And, again, I am proud of her for making a good decision.


the Peterson family said...

I am pretty sure you are the perfect dad.

Anonymous said...

Aww, that made me teary! I don't want to see her grow up too fast either, she is the sweetest, most polite humble little girl I know! You and Katie have done fabulous with her! I would love to come watch one of her games!


Rob said...

The struggle between holding on and letting go...that's parenting in a nutshell, isn't it?

Great post, Dan.