Tag Archives: growing

Bravo to Ballet

Having never taken dance myself, I honestly have a hard time appreciating ballet. Watching the ballerinas twirl and jump in unison is captivating, but I still thought to myself, “What’s the big deal?” Enter my daughters.

My oldest and youngest daughters both have taken ballet. My eldest determined she was “done” after about 3 years. To help you understand her decision, you should know a little more about her. She has always had such clarity about what she likes and doesn’t like–even as a baby in utero! I love to tell her the story of how she would only let me sleep on one side. Apparently, this side was more comfortable for her. If I tried to sleep on the other side, she would kick, kick, kick until I flipped. When she was 16 months old and before she had words, she would point and make clear to me which outfit she wanted to wear. I couldn’t believe it! Her older brother never cared about what I put on him. I now realize she simply liked the most comfortable clothing, and at 16 months of age, she began to let me know which clothing fit her the best. So when she told me she was done with ballet, I knew there was no way to convince her otherwise. Plus, as our family was growing, we began to limit activities to 1 per child from both a logistics and financial standpoint. She decided soccer was more to her liking.

My youngest daughter has kept with ballet and transitioned this year into the real ballet program. She is a kinesthetic learner, so dance fits with who she is at her core. However, this level of dance is when it gets hard. Watching her performances and exams has made my appreciation of ballet really vault upward. First of all, the precision and knowledge of how to hold every single little part of your body overwhelms me. Secondly, the dance terms are actually in French, and require the girls to learn a whole new vocabulary. Working back stage, I now see how focused dancers must be to perform. As they stretch and stay flexible and get ready to go on stage, they are thinking through their entire dance and mentally preparing for all the difficult moves required. When they come off the stage, they are sweating and out of breath. Yet, from the audience, they appear light and bouncy and beautiful. The truth is that they make it look so easy that people like me who are ignorant think it is easy! This couldn’t be further from the truth. It takes serious discipline, hard work, and a love of dance to perform so well.

One amazing thing about my youngest daughter is that she is terribly shy. She has such stage fright that she gets physically ill before a play. However, because ballet requires so much concentration and movement, she doesn’t seem to get those jittery feelings on stage. She has really listened well to her teacher and has had the humility to take correction to heart. She has worked very hard this year and it shows. I cannot wait to see her year-end performance in just 10 days!

More or Less Love

I never realized that there was more than one view on love until I was talking with an acquaintance about children. She had a toddler and was pregnant with her second. She was wondering if she could possibly love this second child as much as her first. I think my jaw dropped opened. Hopefully, I was kind enough to hide my surprise. I seriously had never thought that way. But maybe you do? Here are two views of love:

View #1 – Limited and Diminishing
Real people have shared this view with me. If you carry this view of love in your heart, you see a finite amount of love to go around. So, if you are a mom, you think loving one child means having less love for the second child, and even less for a third child. You may even run out of love if you have too many children. If you are a spouse, you think that having a child is going to make your spouse love you less. It becomes a battle over who do you love more? Me or our child? This view flows over into the workplace, the neighborhood, everywhere you go! If you have had to work with someone who shares this outlook, you will know what I mean.

View #2 – Abundant and Growing
I personally prefer this view. I like to use the analogy of a candle. If I light a candle, it brings light to the whole room. Now, if I give each of my children a candle, every time I light their candle, my candle doesn’t run out of light. In fact, it really doesn’t change. And they now have a candle that could  light a whole room and a whole bunch of other candles. This candle lighting and room lighting could go on for a very long time (limited only by the fact that my analogy is based on a finite object like a candle!) This view also flows over and it just brings tremendous joy with it.

I hope your heart prefers to love with abundance! This gift of love will overflow and double back like a tidal wave. Try it sometime!