Roots and Wings
It would be really helpful if at the hospital when your baby was born they handed you a manual, just a simple one. If it could just lay out in a nice step by step format, how to raise a healthly, happy, well adjusted child and thus adult. It would just take out a lot of the guess work and well, make life a little bit easier....right? Unfortunately, they don't. So we have to navigate the best we can with the gazillion "manuals" out there, coupled with some common sense and instict. Sleep Manuals, Discipline manuals, Feeding manuals and education manuals and so on and so on and so on!
What is best? I sometimes feel there is a fine line between engaging my 7 year old in various extra curricular activities and giving her the freedom and space to play or just relax. Both are so relevant and important in life. I had a defining moment a few days ago, when my daughter performed a Tap Dance number in a school wide Talent Show. The gym was full of hundreds of kids and out of 50 kids that auditioned, 20 made the show. So several children so bravely performed their numbers. You could tell which performances were a hit with the crowd and you could tell when the crowd got shifty and ansy for ones that were less interesting to them. Then a young asian boy came up with a Cello in hand, he was in grade seven. He looked shy but confident. As he approached the stage is fellow classmates, being grade 7 and all - heckled him, laughed with each other, and joked around almost uncomfortably. The little boy gently placed the bow on the cello and began to play, I was nervous for him, but as he played the crowd noise died down, the hecklers became still, the crowd was captivated and moved. The music was stunningly beautiful and he played with such passion, almost bringing tears to the parents eyes (me specifically). At the end of the performance, the little boy stood up and took a bow. At that point the crowd cheered and roared.
I don't know if that little boys parents had put a cello in his little hands as a baby, whether he had missed out on many opportunities to just play or hang out with his friends, because he had intense cello lessons, or whether he had a nice balance of both and simply was very talented and encouraged by his parents. Regardless of either, it made me see that is important to allow them the space and freedom to find out what THEY are good at, and to support their strengths with love and praise. That this acknowledgement will give them the courage and ability to soar. And that one day, they can feel confident to walk up on the stage on what seemingly was an "uncool" performance and to show that being you is cool in itself.
Our Spring 2011 collection is called "Roots and Wings" and although it doesn't come with a manual, we hope you will enjoy the inspiration. As we watch our children grow, they are certain to fall and scrape their proverbial knees, but they will have you by their side to help pick them up and guide them along the journey...give them the Roots to Grow and the Wings to Fly....