The first note of Swan Lake sounds out across the room and, like a switch has been flicked, her whole demeanour suddenly changes. She drops what she is doing and with chin held high she rises up like on a breeze. Her face looks calm, graceful, serious. She raises her arms above her head and brings them slowly out like a flower.
Her head tilts.
Her little toes point and stretch.
She tip-toes across the room,
Lifts a leg high
“I’m a ballerina, Mummy”.
Can you know what a child will do in the future when they are only three years old? It seems madness to imagine that you could, but my children have always had a thing or three they are in to.
Really in to.
My son was pounding out the most crazily complex drum rhythms before he could really talk. He will happily watch and play along to hours of drumming videos on YouTube. And although his obsession ebbs and flows like the tide, it never really leaves. It seems innate. Like the moon, it is always there, whether it is day or night. And like the moon pulls the waves, it pulls him.
It is an undeniable part of who he is.
He cannot switch the rhythm off.
She cannot switch the dancing off.
To tell them to stop would be like telling them not to breathe.
It is ingrained.
And I cannot wait to watch it blossom. May it not be crushed, like petals underfoot, by all the other expectations, pressures and assessments that will be needlessly heaped upon their little shoulders.
Her small, pale pink ballet shoes are growing grey and worn. She wears them most days. And as she commands her Daddy to “one more time” lift her up high like a ballerina, I smile. May I be a help in nurturing these little things that catch their gaze and attention. These things that they can’t help but do.
They may seem insignificant. Silly.
But they are the gold.
And I vow to help them treasure and shine their little gifts whether they pursue them for days or years to come.