Ok. I got it.
In the past few days I had the courage to invite people over to our home and cook a vegan meal. I debated cooking something "normal" for them, so as not be be filed under "people whose house we don't want to eat at". I am proud to report that I let go of needing them to like it. Of course, I hoped they did, but I decided to detach myself from frantically making sure...which would look like: apologizing, cooking up something new, making it "right" somehow. My mantra was, "they are grown ups and my friends, if they want something new they can ask". And then I exhaled. Phew! It was tough, and I did it.
Also, I am quite proud of our kid. She knows all her ABC's, she can count to 20, she sings 5+ songs on her own. She says, "please" and "thank you". She speaks her wants and needs more than she whines about them. Her joyful little self spreads happiness like wildfire through a crowd. Yesterday she was singing "You are my sunshine" and "Twinkle, Twinkle" unabashedly in the store. Grins worked their way across all the patrons faces. It was awesome. I can't take all the credit, and I'll take a chunk. We've been conscientious of how we speak to her, how we interact with her, we follow up with our requests of her. It's WORK. It's working out beautifully.