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“She was wearing her favourite blue bodysuit all day. Her favourite thing to practice is her skips. But she also loves showing her sister how to do a Plie. I always ask her to twirl, because I love how she smiles when she does, and the way her hair flies, and how she points her toes and giggles when she stops (because she’s a little dizzy).”

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This girl has changed so much in such a short time. I talk about it a lot, but it’s only because it is so hard as a mom to watch your child grow up. At the same time, it is even more rewarding.

When Sofia was two I put her in gymnastics. She loved playing in the gym, but she wouldn’t go near the group activities. She would flat out refuse and sit on the sidelines crying and fighting me. I knew it had a lot to do with her struggles with communicating because her speech was behind. She surprised us when we put her in Pre-K and she had no problem letting us leave her there alone. Even after that, I was afraid to put her in another group activity.

We ended up enrolling her in soccer, and she gradually warmed up to it throughout the season. Sometimes it was still a fight though, and I worried that she would never really participate in group sports or activities.

At the beginning of this school year, I took the leap and signed her up for ballet classes. I was so nervous, because up until that point she had clung to my legs, cried that she didn’t want to do anything. But I thought if it was something that I wasn’t there for all the time, like school, maybe she would do fine.

Boy did she prove me right on that one! Not once has she cried, not once has she asked to quit. She listens and she participates and she truly loves it. It helps that she has an amazing teacher, but I also know that it’s just my little girl growing up. As hard as it is to let go, it’s harder to NOT push her to try. I have to show her that I have faith in her, that I will stand behind her no matter what and that I believe she has the potential to do and be whatever she wants.

Maybe she won’t stay in ballet forever, but I am confident that even if she doesn’t she will find something she loves, that she can put her whole self into. For now, that is ballet and she put her whole self into twirling and skipping. And that’s just fine with me.

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