Just came back from another extended-family dinner at Dr Pixie’s; sans the smiley face candles this time. It was really just a catch-up dinner with my parents, siblings, and the 3rd generation.
One of the stories shared was how one of my nephews had really come out of his shell as he reached puberty and into his teens now.
I do recall most of the stories of how he was a rather shy and quiet boy. When I returned from Australia in the late 90’s he was only just starting preschool, or very close to starting primary schooling. Since the kids of that generation (sorry Caitlin, Caleb, that Daddee married late and had you guys later) are all pretty close in their age, they’d play together and try the new things together too. I remember seeing this particular nephew always sidelining himself. Not really one to wanna try new games or participate in physical activities much.
When he started primary schooling, my sister in law was told (or that it was noted in his report card) that he was particularly quiet in class, perhaps almost introverted / reclusive. He didn’t really talked a lot at home either.
My parents have always wanted their kids (and I guess extended to their grandkids too) to be more extroverted and be able to present themselves, in manners of public speaking, etc.. My personal experience of this was when Mum signed me up for a singing competition, when I was in primary 2 or 3. I didn’t want to, but due to her superwoman fierce mother stronger than influence, I “had” to, and subsequently I attended the gig and sang, and kicked everyone’s ass (I guess that could be another post topic!)
So with this nephew my father gave him a challenge, knowing how this young kid was already finding ways to make / save money: If there was ever a chance or event for him to be up on stage in front of the whole school, my father was going to give him 50 bucks for it. It could be for whatever reasons: public story telling, singing, school debate, receiving a prize, etc.
I guess during those school years, this nephew started growing out of his shell. Feedback from the school teacher was that she couldn’t shut this boy up in class!
So much so that during a school assembly once, he and his buddies were caught chatting. And as you know you are supposed to give your utmost attention to the front of the hall during assembly. As punishment, they were summoned up to the stage to sing some kid song, in front of the whole school!
But wait a minute, I hear you say, doesn’t that mean that….
Yup. He came home and demanded the 50 bucks! A deal’s a deal! My father had no choice! I guess he should have reviewed the terms carefully!
He went to school the next day to brag about it to his very envious buddies. His friends obviously couldn’t believe it. He was all of pride and glory when a primary 1 school boy came up to him, pointed at him and laughed, “You are already in primary 6 and you had to sing a kid’s song!”