It’s been raining here in Dunsborough today. Our first proper rainy day since moving to the south west. The Easter weekend is almost upon us and that also means the end of term one for the kids.
This afternoon April’s class held a little talent show with the kids coming up with their own acts. Our natural performer daughter featured in four items including a solo dance and a solo song. She loves the experience of putting on a show and although was a little nervous about singing solo in front of a crowd for the first time, she stood up, took a deep breath and plunged in.
I wish for her that she retains this self-confidence and joy in doing what she loves as she grows older.
Do you remember having that sort of confidence in doing what you loved as a child?
I used to love singing and dancing on my own or with a girlfriend in our lounge room when I was April’s age but I would have sooner died than performed “Dancing Queen” in front of an actual audience!
I continued to enjoy dancing and music all through my school years but as a young teenager became painfully aware that if I let my light shine too brightly, I would attract the attention of the nasty girls at school and that I would be bullied. So, I still performed with my friends when we had the opportunity but I learned to tone things down, to play it safe, not stand out too much.
This must be a really big life lesson for me because I feel I am still learning it through April. I love her exuberance and spirit and I’m proud of how confident she is and yet at times I also internally cringe just a little when she stands up the straightest and sings the loudest. My heightened sensitivity to what other people might be thinking kicks in super-strong and I worry that the other girls won’t like her if she is always the “star” of the show.
What I realised watching her today is that all the kids just accept her as she is. Her Dad and I keep her grounded by not making too big a deal of it and subtly mentioning that everyone is good at different things.
Her teacher was generous in letting her perform in so many different acts. Her words when I thanked her were: “Well, it was up to the kids, it was her chance to shine”.
It seems to me that for many of us adults, life has dulled our shine and has even caused us to forget what our gifts and talents are.
I feel that finding our way back to our child-like, joyous selves through remembering what we love to do and doing it brings all the meaning and pleasure back into our lives. Sonia Choquette teaches this in her work.
I love to dance, sing, draw, bake and write so that’s what I make sure I do, often and with joy in my heart.
What have you left behind in childhood that you used to love?
Stomp in a puddle today!
Love to you all,