Yesterday in the car, Mabel made one of those piercingly self-aware comments she is sometimes prone to.
“Sometimes my voice sounds confident, but inside I’m feeling shy.”
This girl. She slays me.
And I was really glad she’d said it because it was a great opening to tell her something I wished I’d known sooner, something I want to become one of her mantras.
“That’s great, I said. “Because if you sound confident, and you pretend you’re confident, you’ll turn out to be more confident. Fake it till you make it.”
(I may not have said that last part. I didn’t want to confuse her with unfamiliar idioms. But we talked about feeling shy and looking shy, and how nobody has a face that looks shy – she thought she did – but if you act shy by hiding behind your grownup or not wanting to talk, then people might think you’re shy. But also, it’s okay to be shy, of course…)
Later on we went swimming and found some friends at the pool. Mabel wanted to tell her friend’s mom about The Princess Bride, but she wanted me to do the telling.
“Remember what we talked about this morning?” I asked her. “About acting confident even if you don’t feel it? Why don’t you ask her yourself?”
And she waded out from behind my back and went up to her friend’s mum and asked her straight out, without so much as an introduction to the out-of-left-field topic, “Have you seen The Princess Bride?” They had a great old chat, and my friend remarked that Mabel was very talkative today.
(I suppose for other people sometimes she’s quiet. It’s not a side of her I see too often.)