It's an interesting thing, this being a mom.
Once my kid figured out that I was going to do right by him and him alone, swim lessons became much more enjoyable. In fact, life has become much more enjoyable. I've been getting hugs lately (all up around my legs... those feel super good for all of us) and was even more recently wildly approached and asked to be his holder during a rain storm.
(He ran up to me. And asked to be held. Oh my... I just about passed out right then and there.)
To say that all of this has come as a surprise wouldn't even be touching the edge of that berg.
Ends up that when your child--my child--recognizes that the strong voice you are using is the one in which you are using to stand up for them and them alone, they begin to feel safe.
I've learned through this parenting stuff that I have to step over some lines that I've placed out there in the past. Lines that include making others happy at your and your child's expense, lines that include proper manners at all times, lines that include following each and every rule, lines that include keeping your mouth zipped up nice and tight so as to not cause "issues."
Lines. Boundaries. Walls.
Indeed, rather than being the quiet one who will do as asked, I'm expected to speak up. For my son. For us. For safety and connection and healing.
It feels good.
It feels scary.
It feels right.