Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hailey. My first little angel has learned how to fly.

Hailey A. has taught me more about being a better person than anyone I know. When she was a baby, I thought it was her job to prove that I knew absolutely nothing. She was a baby that NEVER wanted to be put down. She slept with me until she was two. She clung to me everywhere we went and everyone thought she was very shy and very "spoiled". (I still hate that word)
Doctors and inlaws used to tell me to "put her down and let her cry" both during the day and in her crib at night. During the day, I could handle it because as long as she could see me, it was a manageable cry and I could do it out of necessity. At night, however, she freaked. Even at 5 mos. she got so mad in her crib that she pulled up for the first time, held on the the crib bars, screamed hysterically until she threw up.

When I tried to explain the way she cried when she couldn't see me, I always said she sounded terrified. And of course was told that she was manipulating me. Please. She was 5-6 mos. at the time. But when you are a new mom, you listen to your elders with experience. I thought I was ruining her.

Long story short, she always clung to me and was very shy. Finally, in third grade she got a teacher that also thought she was spoiled and "had a little attitude". And Hailey quit talking at school. Completely. Not a word. Still the teacher thought she was stubborn. I promptly took her to a wonderful child psychologist who gave her a label that was hard to swallow, but easy for me to believe. She had Severe Separation Anxiety Disorder with Selective Mutism. She told me that Hailey was not stubborn or shy...she was terrified.

Okay I said long story short. My almost 14 year old baby girl has grown up to be a straight A student and a competitive gymnast. She actually gets out there and competes with everybody watching her. (something i never would have imagined possible at age 7)

She has taught me more about courage than anyone I know. I love that little teenager.

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