Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kids & Dreams

Sometimes I like chick tv. The Bachelor? Not so much. But So You Think You Can Dance? Love it. I usually can't remember what day it comes on, but I'm glued to the tv when I find it. I could totally do without the fluff and some of the slow stuff though. 

Anyway, my friend T and I went to a live show when they toured near Dallas a few seasons ago. The set up was a little cheesy, and not sure why I thought the hostess would actually be there, but the performances were awesome. And, the people watching? Even better. We sat next to a married couple, and the guy knew every dance. Not the wife, the husband.  And he cried several times. Sure, guys can be sensitive and emotional. But I think there's a closet somewhere with his name on it.  

And there was a mom and daughter sitting in front of us.  The daughter ~ probably middle-school aged at most ~ went on and on about how beautiful the dancers were, how she wanted to be like Lauren (that season's winner), how she wanted to dance, on and on and on. Finally, during the intermission, the mom looked at her doe-eyed daughter and matter-of-factly said, "It's too much work. You can't do that."  

T and I just looked at each other, stunned. The girl looked so crushed, I wanted to reach out and give her a hug and some words of encouragement. I waited for the mom to say something, anything else, but she never did. The girl sat through the rest of the performance like an icicle -- still, cold, unexcited. 

I couldn't believe it. Sure, the chances of her actually becoming a professional dancer are probably slim to none, but somebody has to be, so why not her? Why not encourage her to be excited about dance, an artform that celebrates the beauty of the body, that relies on being healthy and strong, that communicates a message of strength and grace to those watching? Why not get her excited about something that could help her through the awkward teen years, give her meaning in life, help her avoid the pitfalls so many fall into. Why not use it as leverage to keep her grades up, as an extracurricular to keep her busy and a means into college?  What is SO important in her life that she doesn't have room for a dream?  

I made a vow that day to never cause that pain in my child. Sure, if Baby decides that picking gum off the sidewalk is his dream in life, I may have to re-direct him. But I hope I never cause the hurt I saw in that little girl's eyes. Far-fetched dreams are better than none at all, right?

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