I was one of those children who was always busy doing some club or other. Over the years I did swimming, gymnastics, ballet, tap and modern dancing, netball, debating, choir, orchestra, recorder club (my poor parents), piano lessons, horse-riding, Brownies and drama club. Even as an adult I’m a joiner-inner, always the first to volunteer for something or to try a new hobby. So it will come as no surprise to hear – after reading that list – that my daughter and F, after a slow start joining the baby groups, are turning into just as busy kids.
The only thing is though, I was hoping that they would find one thing that they would excel at above all others. I did lots of things but never really felt like I found my thing. You know? That one hobby or activity that became my passion and drive to succeed. I was more a Jacqueline of all trades, mistress of none. I was also a bit lazy – I basically wanted to be really good at something without practising very much, which is not really the best attitude with which to achieve excellence.
I often wondered if my parents should have pushed me to stick at things more rather than just letting me stop and start things as I wanted. But now I’m faced with the same dilemma. ‘I’ has been doing ballet since she was 18 months old and has always loved it but, over the last couple of weeks, she has been saying that she doesn’t want to go. The first couple of times I asked her why she didn’t know; simply giving me the four year old’s standard response of ‘I don’t know’. But then, yesterday, she told me it was because it was too hard. I get that. She’s just moved up a class which is much more ‘first position, double plié, sauté’ than the ‘run around with fairy wands’ of the toddler class.
So what do I do? Do I keep taking her and hope this is just a little blip of confidence before she blossoms into the next Darcey Bussell? Or do I let her stop? For now, I’m still taking her because she seems to enjoy it when she’s there and always comes out buzzing. Plus, I’ve paid until the end of term. But after that? I’m just not sure yet. What I do know is I’ve signed her up to a drama club just in case acting is more her thing, but I draw the line at recorders.