Friday, April 13, 2012

Jadyn's Decision

I have written on several occasions how Jadyn been very insistent about wanting to play soccer (for 2 seasons now) and now this year, try t-ball in addition to dance. And I have also written about as a general rule of thumb, I had always thought I would limit the kids to one extracurricular activity at a time and I made an exception for Jadyn to do sports and ballet at the same time. But I knew that at some point, she would have to make a choice, particularly I thought by the time she starts school next year, because as a first grader (when did that happen, seriously?) she would have a full day schedule.

Well over the last several weeks Jadyn has not been wanting to go to ballet. I kept finding reasons for it - she is tired from the time change, she is worn out by the time Thursday rolls around, she will be more excited once they start preparing for recital, etc. etc. But guess what? They started working on choreography for the recital. She got to see the costume. And yet still. And guess what else? If she has a t-ball game or even practice later in the week, she is always raring to go. So I sat down and talked to her and sure enough, she doesn't want to do ballet anymore.

So Jadyn's made her decision. She likes and wants to play sports. Honestly, I think the writing has been on the wall for awhile now and I pushed it but really why? I played both soccer and softball growing up and loved it. So why am I having such a hard time with her decision. Why do I find myself disappointed and sad?

As my very wise husband pointed out - Jadyn loves to sing and dance, maybe she just doesn't particularly like ballet. That's true. He also pointed out that just because she doesn't want to continue ballet now, it doesn't mean she won't change her mind in the future. That's true too.

I really want the kids to be able to pursue the things they are passionate about - things that they love to do, skills they want to improve upon and hone. And I want it to be theirs. Not mine. Not the things that I would choose for them. Not the things that I did as a kid or wished I would have done as a kid.

And to be absolutely clear, my mom was always very supportive of me trying something new. I remember being little and taking piano lessons and performing in ballet and tap recitals. Then I moved onto soccer and softball before eventually pursing dance in high school after roller skating competitively in Jr. High. I even tried my hand at BMX racing for a short while if you can believe it. My only regret was not having that "one thing". I wished I either would have stuck with sports and played them in high school or taken dance consistently as a child so I could have been a more technically solid dancer when I was a teen. However, I can not let my regrets cloud my judgement as I guide my children. And I definitely recognize where that is coming into play here.

Jake loves loves loves soccer and he really enjoys baseball. I have mentioned other activities before and he has shown no interest in them so I guess for Jake it is easy. For Jadyn it is more complicated, I think not only because she does show interest in multiple things but because she is a girl and I see so much of me in her.

I am hoping that writing about my feelings will be cathartic in some ways. And if not, I only need to wait for Jadyn's next t-ball game to watch her smile as she holds her helmet and runs the bases and know that she is doing something she enjoys. As a mom, I don't think I need anything more.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Thanks for sharing this, I am having so many of the same emotions. I too was making excuses in my head for why Autumn didn't want to go to dance class. Ahhhh. Being a parent is hard sometimes. I too want her to have one thing she is really good in. I think I know deep down she'll be a success no matter what. :)