Children are such a wonderful mixture of curiosity, bravado and determination. If they want to do something, they will find a way. That is, until someone tells them that they don’t have a strong enough voice, for instance. When my daughter was three years old, she wanted to sing Over the Rainbow on stage at a talent quest. She dressed as Dorothy, and listened respectfully as older children performed before her. “Are you sure you want to do this sweetheart?” I asked. She nodded “yes!” I was worried that she would burst into tears up there, that she would be afraid. Shame on me. She didn’t remember all the words, but she hid her discomfort by twirling around. She was a hit. From that moment on, she wanted to become a performer. This Christmas, she will be singing with a group of her friends in front of 10,000 people at our local carols. She was sure could she sing in front of people, at three years of age, and she was right!
She also loves gymnastics and acrobatics. My stomach used to twist into knots when she was younger, and I would see her ascend to the top of climbing frames, and show off by releasing her hands. I was sometimes lectured by passers-by on the importance of keeping her on the ground, of keeping her safe. “She and I know her capabilities,” I would reply. “She is safer up there, secure in herself.” It was true, she was. As I watch her climb to the top of trees, I have the usual motherly reactions, such as the fear of her falling. I fell, and it hurt! My child isn’t going to fall, there is nobody behind her ready to push. She’s got this. I have to be calm and watch, ready to applaud her efforts. This world has already run some commentary around my daughter, as it does every child. Commentary as to what they are capable of, what they should fear, the dangers and pain that await. She shall never get it from me. Perhaps she will be an artist/rigger/acrobatic performer? I love watching her evolve into who she is destined to be. She is gathering all the corners, and making herself a parachute of dreams and hopes. She will not fall.