I was confused because she seemed to be really into the story she was telling with her little toys so I asked what she couldn't do.
She said, "I keep trying to talk like this (as she places her hands at her sides) but I just can't do it!"
My heart sank.
See, Abby has this thing where she moves her hands A LOT. She doesn't just talk with her hands, her hands never stop moving!
Similar to the comedian Lewis Black, around the 40 second mark.
Except her hands move the WHOLE time she's talking.
I always say that it's her energy coming right up and out of her finger tips. Most people find it funny and some have tried to get her to talk without moving her hands just to see if she can do it.
Well, she can't and it usually makes all of us laugh. Except, I knew that the comments would eventually make her feel self conscious. So, after a few (albeit, good natured) comments, I started to make a conscious effort to let her know that there is nothing wrong with how she talks. I would usually throw out the joke, "That's the Italian in her" for the adults benefit.
I guess the comments and laughs did sink in since now, in the comfort of her own living room with just me and Lilly, she was trying to change her mannerisms.
Mannerisms that are so uniquely ABBY. I love that she gets so excited. As much as I'm sure that one day her hands will slow down, I hope her enthusiasm doesn't.
Yes, I can see where people find it funny. It makes me laugh too but in a 'she's so excited that it's infectious!' sort of way.
I also know that I can't protect her from everything and that she will develop her own insecurities (don't we all). I just didn't think she would pick up on it all so quickly and it hurt to see her so self aware during playtime, when no one else was even watching.
It also made me realize that I love my girls just the way the are. It sounds cliche but I never knew how true the cliche really was until that moment. Her hands moving at the speed of light may be quirky but I can't imagine her not doing that.
I tried the use it as a teaching moment. A quick lesson that we should accept each other's differences. A moment to comfort her and build her up. I told her that if it's uncomfortable to keep her hands still than don't. If her hands just move, then let them. If you're excited, show it. Play your way. Talk your way. Don't try to change.
Because behind those moving hands is an energy, a fire, a passion. One that only she has and it's not something I ever want her to lose. She's quick to laugh, to joke, to play, to jump into a group of kids head first. She's confident and full of life. Those are qualities that I want to nurture. That I want her to build on.
And if that love of life just happens to shoot right out of the tips of her fingers, then so be it.
It's PERFECTLY ABBY.