Saturday, July 31, 2010

Heating up the Stage to Lady GaGa/Telephone

Angel Daughter Number Four dancing to Telephone by Lady GaGa
When she was about four years old, she would stand up in the middle of our kitchen table and dance!  And there was something about the way that she danced, the way that she used her entire body to express joy, that made me realize that she wasn't just dancing in the way that children usually do.  She was listening to a rhythm that only she could hear, and she was responding to its call.  She was following her soul's desire.
As my daughters were growing up, I observed them very closely.  I wasn't one of those pushy parents who felt the need to enroll my children in every sport/dance/you fill in the blank, type of class.  I allowed them to lead.  I allowed them to try things.  I even allowed them to...wait for it...quit if they decided that the thing that they were trying wasn't something that felt like a comfortable fit.  You see, from my perspective, the only way that we will continue to feel good about trying something out, is if we can stop doing it when and if, we decide that it is not for us.  I wanted my girls to feel free to try something that seemed appealing.  I never wanted them to feel as if trying something meant sticking it out until they decided that they would never try something out again, for fear that they would get stuck doing something that made them absolutely miserable.  I spent too many summers in a day camp that I hated.  Participating in things that I despised.  Being constantly demoralized because I was very small, and couldn't serve the ball over the volleyball net as hard as I tried.  When all I wanted to do was go into the arts and crafts shack and create things.  Or learn to play the guitar.  Or participate in the drama classes.  So I learned an early lesson.  I learned that if you are forced to finish something that you only agreed to try, that you would become somewhat fearful of trying new things.  A difficult cycle to break once it is firmly ingrained in the mind.  But it was a lesson well-learned and it saved my own daughters from having to decide between giving something a whirl, and ending up being stuck.
All of my daughters are exceptionally good at something.  Actually, I truly believe that we are all exceptionally good at something, given the opportunity to discover what that something might be.  And by watching my own children figure out the things that make them feel great, I am learning that it is never too late to begin trying and quitting, if need be.
Angel Daughter Number Four is, amongst many other wonderful things, a dancer.  Angel Daughter Number Three loves fashion. Angel Daughter Number Two is a photographer and an artist.  Angel Daughter Number One is an actor and a singer and a Universal Studios Tour Guide.  These are things that they have all come to on their own.
With lots of encouragement from their father, me, one another, their grandfather.

And when you stay true to whatever song it is that your spirit seems to inherently know the words to, you don't really have to try.
You just do.

The rhythm is somehow familiar.  The movements come easily.  And you suddenly realize that the dance is your own.
And how do you know that this is who you are?  That this is who you were meant to be?  That this is what you are meant to be doing at this moment in time?  You know, because you feel immense, soul-shaking gratitude.
While watching Angel Daughter Number Four perform on the stage to Lady GaGa's song Telephone, I was reminded of the days when she would hop up into the center of the kitchen table and dance her little heart out.  Even then, I recognized something in her that she was too young to recognize in herself.  Something that not only came naturally, but brought her immense joy.  And now, in her movements on the stage, I witness so much strength.  Fortitude.  Follow-through.  There are no quitters in my home.  Each one of my daughters has tried and tried and tried again.

So now I think to myself, what is it that I should try to do?  Write that book?  Take more pictures?  Learn to play the guitar?  What would you do if somebody told you that you could?


Anonymous said...

Absolutely wonderful post and what a great mom you are. I so dislike seeing children being pushed to do things they do not enjoy doing or that they do not feel comfortable doing. Too much pressure is put on children by some parents trying to live their dreams through their children and wanting them to do what they think they should do. Just as you did if parents watch and learn from the children, their gifts and talents will surface when allowed to. Hugs

Anonymous said...

Well we certainly know where the gene came from. 12,000 years and it pops up in AD4.

Renee said...

What beautiful pictures...thank you for sharing them with us.....I have seen too many force their children to do what they really are not interested in too....your insights in this are really really good....

Sabi Sunshine said...

Dear Deb

Beautiful Post with lovely pictures! You are an amazing person and you have so much in you to love and to share.

God bless


Debbie said...

How wonderful that you have been so supportive and they have all reached for the sky with their dreams! These are great photos.

Mickey (Michel) Johnson said...

...i too believe we all have something amazing about us...a purpose and design for our that lets us shine! xoxo

Sharon said...

I read this when you first posted and was so impressed with the way you captured her performance. I've been thinking about your questions. I don't have an answer but they bring tears, even now, because I have done what I wasn't sure I could but knew it mattered more than anything else I would ever do ~ I have helped my children to grow into adulthood and into themselves. I'm still not sure how to follow that....

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