People comment on his seriousness, and I've been quick to say, "He's being shy..." I've said that too many times in his almost seven months, and I refuse to say it again.
"Shy" is a box. "Shy" is a weight. "Shy" is a negative label.
I've been labeled as shy a lot in my life, and it's never felt good. If I was afraid to speak up, and someone called me shy, the label only made it harder for me to find power in my voice. If I was afraid to make friends, the label only made it that much scarier. "Shy" made me feel uninteresting, unworthy, and unmotivated to step outside my comfort zone. "Shy" made me insecure. I still struggle with insecurity and social anxiety.
So, no, even if my baby's behavior now indicates that he shares my personality traits, I won't label him as shy. "Shy" is a lazy, one-dimensional, negative word for so much more.
My son isn't shy.
These are all positive things to call a person. So I'm going to shred "shy," douse it with lighter fluid, and watch it burst into flames and flicker out of my vocabulary. The rest of those words are going in my back pocket, so next time someone comments that my son is being so serious, I can smile and proudly say, "Yup, he's so observant!"
Celebrate your kiddos. Build them up. Choose your words wisely because they have power.
Related post: I Don't Want to be the Awkward Mom on the Playground
Want more content about crunchy momming with faith, gentleness, and boobs? Check out Her Arms Are Strong on Facebook!