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I remember the baby who wouldn’t smile at anyone.

And the toddler who refused to participate in any kid classes. She was content to watch others shake, sing and roll.

This is the child who refused to attend birthday parties for many years.

And cried when we tried to take her to kids’ shows. And these were cool shows. At Lincoln Center for gosh sakes.

This is the flower girl who could not be convinced to walk down the aisle. So I carried her.

And the one who burrowed into her father’s arms at big family get-togethers.

She’s the girl who hid under the table on the first day of art camp.

And spent the morning of Pre-K camped out in the car.

She’s the one who refused to participate in her first Kindergarten visit.

And also the girl who wouldn’t let one cleat touch the field when we signed her up for soccer this spring.

She was in my lap for her entire Kindergarten holiday concert.

Ditto in First Grade.

But then something extraordinary happened.

This child, this daughter of mine, went up on stage during her First Grade end of the year insect play.

And dressed as a butterfly, she said her one line.

One beautifully mumbled perfect line.

And I think my pride must have filled up that auditorium and then seeped into every crevice of those elementary school hallways.

And I realized that in the past seven years, my daughter Dylan has taught me well.

She has taught me acceptance. Not every child is destined for greatness on the soccer field. Or even to step foot on a soccer field.

And to be patient. We do things when we are ready. Not when everyone else is ready.

And to be brave. Because sometimes you have to take a deep breath, a leap of faith and step out onto the stage.

Dylan, you continue to amaze me. xo


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kelcey kintner