Anyone who has read Steve Biddulph's "Raising Girls" will have read about the importance of finding and emphasising a child's spark.
"In the book we have a special section on 'spark' - the idea that girls usually discover a passion or interest that really makes them excited and happy to be alive. Finding her spark - animals, hobbies, activism, sport, creativity - takes her away from being obsessed with how she looks. It's natural to HAVE self belief, but the media/fashion/advertising world takes it away, makes you not like yourself."
Well today we saw that in action for both our girls. Child 1 had been invited to take part in a dance workshop, when this invite first came through on my email I was a little skeptical thinking that it was possibly just a bit of a money maker, however seeing my eldest girl perform just an extract of what she had learned at the end of the workshop was fantastic and she so obviously enjoyed every minute, even if she "messed up a bit" her words. For her it wasn't really the performance it was the new dance moves that she had learnt and the fact that the instructor pushed her in a very positive way to give her all. In fact she returned home starving, exhausted but full of self belief in her ability to dance.
For child 3, it was her first ever gymnastics competition. Child 3 after watching the 2012 Olympics decided that Olympic gymnast was the perfect career choice, so after begging me to take her out of her ballet classes so she could start gymnastics off she went completely fearless and confident in her own ability! Well, today she showed us how much she loved her gymnastics taking part in everything, taking the numbers of competitors, the crowds of parents, grandparents and siblings watching and cheering all in her stride, she was completely focused whilest competing but chatty and friendly with other competitors when sitting on the sidelines. And to her amazement and our delight she came second!
I have always encouraged the children to follow their dreams, sometimes worrying about how to manage their expectations of those dreams, but following today and Mr B's advice maybe just maybe it's just fine to enjoy the journey?