Friday, September 23, 2011

Learning to listen....

From the very young age of two, we enrolled our daughter Rylee in ballet and dance classes. At the age of 5, we then enrolled Rylee in skating lessons as well as dance classes. Being our first child and a girl, we (the parents) really believed she would love dancing and skating. Even though she protested, almost to the point of tears,  before going to any dance or skating lesson, we continued each season to enroll Rylee in dance and skate lessons. Rylee will be turning ten soon so this went on for almost 7 years. Yet, it wasn't until my son began playing hockey that we realized perhaps Rylee really didn't enjoy dancing or skating.

 Our son Gabriel would count sleeps before his practices. Regardless of what crazy, early morning practice, Gabe would rise and be ready to go within minutes, without a single sign of distress.

It wasn't until Gabriel began to express his love for hockey that we really began listening to Rylee. Perhaps we didn't listen well  because we simply assumed she would love dancing. Perhaps it was simply something I wanted, to watch my daughter dance and skate. Maybe I just thought all kids hated going to extra-curricular activities and being that Rylee is my eldest, I did not have any other child's experience to guide me.

Well, last year we asked Rylee what she really, really, really wanted to do and she asked to take pottery lessons. I liked the idea of course but wasn't 100% keen as I had hoped she would have chosen an activity which involved some sort  of physical exercise.  Again, I was thinking what I, as the parent, thought was best and still not really listening. But we took the plunge and enrolled Rylee in pottery and mixed media art classes at the Shenkman Arts Centre.   

It was then we realized how much Rylee loves art and creating art. She spends 4.5 hours of her Saturdays at the Shenkman Arts Centre and has never ever protested, complained or whined about going to her lessons. We meet her for her lunch break and she counts the minutes until her next lesson begins. Each week she carries home her prize, her creations, what she learned to create in class. The teachers are wonderful and the classes are structured but allow so much room for individual creativity.



Dear Rylee, thank you so much for enduring the years of dance and skating to make me happy. Perhaps we should have listened earlier. Pehaps everything happens for a reason. But regardless, we are thrilled you have found your niche and we love seeing you smile before art classes.
Tomorrow, another season of art begins. Rylee's pottery from previous classes has already taken over most of the bookshelf and with another season underway, it appears I will have to store my books elsewhere. Construction begins next week on the extention on our home to create a mudroom but maybe I should ask the contractors if we could also add an additional room to display Rylee's art :)

Thanks for stoppin' by and hope you all have a great day!

3 comments:

  1. Oh, how I remember those days. I danced for years to fill my mother's longing, then quit for a couple and returned by my own choice, paying for my own shoes etc. I loved it then. I'm sure the dance created a poised and more confident young woman and the art will be her way of communicating that. How wonderful to see her progress through her art from year to year. She is blessed to have found her passion as early as she has.

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  2. Wow! What a lovely post. A great read for sure and something I will try to keep in mind in the future. I love that she has found her niche!

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  3. Great post Rosa. I too have struggled in a similar way. I knew Leila would do great at gymnastics, diving, swim team etc. She was physically built for these. She enthusiastically did all three but alas at the end of each one when asked if she wanted to sign up for the next session she always said, "No, I think I'll try something else." I felt despair that I wasn't forcing my child to "master" something, that she was going to be the infamous "Jack of all trades, Master of none" Only recently have I given MYSELF the permission to title myself a "Dabler", to let myself off the hook of societys demand that I stick to one thing and master it..."How come others can find their Niche and I can't, what is wrong with me?" I want to unburden my kids from this feeling of "letting themselves down" My son loves to master things, my daughter loves to dable. She may find a niche one day but it is no-longer a requirement for happiness.

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