Lesson From A Twelve Year Old…I’ve Been Schooled.
The scene looked something like this…
I’m sitting on the bed with my 12-year-old after she gets off the school bus. We begin in the usual way by hashing over the events of her school day, both the highs and lows. She shows me the latest bruise that she got during gym and tells me how horrible the school lunch was. Eventually, the conversation turns to her upcoming dance class which is just a few hours away. She explains how she feels a bit sad about her decision to give up dancing after this year because she has danced since she was 2 1/2 years old. She goes on to divulge that it makes her feel like a quitter.
After listening to her, I begin to launch into a full explanation of how she is not a quitter because she’s finishing out this year of dance. I then go on to inquire if she has any plans to attend the Joffrey Ballet School, become a backup dancer for Katy Perry or some other future in dance unbeknownst to me. She giggles and says, “Of course not Mom!” which I fully expected her to say and which leads me to my main point.
I then plunge into expelling pearls of wisdom about how dance served a purpose for her in the beginning of her life, giving her confidence, grace and flexibility. But, like a lot of things that enter and subsequently leave our lives, she might be at a divergence where she is ready to let go of dance and move on to the next chapter of her life, which will hold new opportunities for growth.
The discussion turns into one of more generalized thoughts, such as how there will always be things that enter our lives in order to provide new life lessons, skills, or experiences and it is imperative that we take advantage of those opportunities and then let them go when they no longer serve a purpose or bring happiness. That is the moment when my wonderful, preteen daughter turns to me and says, “Maybe it’s time that you look for a new career path. One that brings you less hours, new skills, happiness and more time to spend with all of us.” During this whole conversation I thought that I was the one teaching her a valuable life lesson, but it turns out that, perhaps, I was the one that this lesson was for. Touché, Sweet Girl, touché!