What can I say about Saturday morning’s dance concert. It was truly one of my proudest moments as Michael mother. There stood my little guy on the stage with his friends from dance class, doing his ninja dance performance. The confidence, the precision, the lack of fear and enjoyment I saw on his face proved to me once again, that he can truly do anything he sets his mind to. It also gave me the confidence as a Mom to trust my gut. I’ve been gently encouraging him towards performing on stage since he asked us to record him singing and dancing at home to songs he memorized or dancing he made up. He also loves to play instruments and improvise. Yet, due to his fear of performing on stage, that is what kept me back from pushing him too much a few years ago. Then two years ago they noticed at his school concerts how much he loved to sing. As a result, the last two concerts had him singing at the microphone with a buddy. My baby is growing into a beautiful flower and I will never doubt encouraging his love of something again, even if he is afraid. We’ll do just baby steps as we’ve done with encouraging singing and dancing.
I have to confess something right now. I LOVED performing as a child AND was terrified by it. I sang in choirs, tried out for plays, and would have taken dancing but instead amused myself by being near the front at aerobics classes. I am shy and nervous in front of large crowds, but put music on and I am a different person. It is like with writing. I am absorbed into those art forms and become one with them. I don’t know how else to explain it. I was afraid that I was starting to live through Michael, and didn’t want him feeling pressured to sing, dance and perform because Mom loved and would love to share that with him. I encouraged him at church choir for the same reason, but when he told me he wasn’t ready I held back. I’m glad now. If it’s meant to be, it will be. I see that I was right as a Mom and saw in Michael what was really there in him: love and talent for music and performance. I know now that he will only continue to find his path with art and mapping and it is exciting to see the future he could make for himself following his passion. I’m thrilled as is Dad to be along for the ride. I pray for the means to continue to encourage all his loves and help be a part of shaping the incredible human being he is becoming.
Exceptional Parents, what is your gut telling you about your Exceptional Child’s talents and passions? Trust whatever it is saying and if there is an interest to try an activity, let your child explore whatever it is. That is how they will find their path. If if happens to be along the same interest line as yours, don’t question it. They are your children and may share some of the same passions. Encourage, support and step back. You won’t regret when you see them shining in the spotlight of their accomplishments. Until next time.