Miss Personality

For a while there, I worried that Lucy was shy. With strangers, she would cry and climb up my shoulder like she was trying to hide inside me. I knew this was normal separation/stranger anxiety, but I kept thinking, "What if she's shy? No kid of ours can be shy." It's not that I hate shy people, it's just that I always assume they hate me. Of course, everyone MUST like me, so I when I meet someone shy, I shift into social overdrive — a noisy, prattling gear that often has the opposite of its desired effect. So maybe the person starts out as merely shy, but in the end, indeed hates me. I am not shy. Jason is not shy. If Lucy is going to have a trait that neither of us possesses, couldn't it be tall?

I am relieved to report that she is not shy. I knew this for sure when she was flirting with a man on the plane home from El Paso yesterday. She kept climbing up to peek between the seats, grinning with all four teeth at some mustached stranger, reaching for his hand. If you're a stranger or relatively unknown to her, the trick to earning her affection is to ignore her. While she does get overwhelmed by throngs of adoring family, she manages to win friends in restaurants, at church, on planes, wherever she encounters seemingly disinterested people. Apparently she, like her mother, wants people to like her.

Even under the family love barrage this Christmas season, she stayed pretty social. She enjoyed tugging on mustaches (her future taste in men?), pulling off glasses, playing peekaboo, eating the sundry sweets and other inappropriate foods they gave her. All in all, she was charming and everybody liked her, which was a great relief to us. But what I will eventually have to accept is, outgoing or shy, liberal or conservative, we have a limited amount of control over what she likes, who she likes and how she is. Part of our bodies, yet still her own person, even at nine and a half months old. She hasn't even hit puberty, and I already feel the pangs of her breaking away. At least she isn't shy, or doesn't hate me — yet.