Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Can't Have It All

Last week Lyss brought home a note inviting her to enroll in Art 1, a high school class. This is only open to junior high students by invitation.

It is a big honor to be invited to join this class. The letter stated that Alyssa has shown maturity and an aptitude for art and the teacher would love to work with her to encourage her artistic abilities.

I was happy for Lyss and asked her if she wanted me to sign the letter and send it back to the school.

She frowned a little and hesitated.

“You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to,” I told her. I could tell something was bothering her about the invitation to this class.

“It’s not that,” she began. “It’s just, if I take that class, I’m afraid it will interfere with band and choir and those are more important to me.”

Ahhh, got it.

“Well,” I told her, “I guess you really can’t do it all. If band and choir are more important, that’s what you need to do.”

I’m proud of her for already being willing to let some things go in order to concentrate on those other things that mean a little more to her. She’s very much into music these days and band and choir answer some need inside her to explore music and all the ways it can teach her, speak for her, be expressed through her.

Some people (me?) try so hard for so long to have it all, to be it all, to wrench every drop of experience out of life that they don’t really end up with anything because they’ve stretched themselves so thin there’s nothing left to actually enjoy what they have. I want more for my girls.

I want them to find what gives them the most joy and work on that, concentrate on that, explore all that has to offer. Sure, keep being open to new things but when something comes along that you just know isn’t as important to you as another thing, it’s okay to let it go.

Do I want her to keep drawing and painting? Sure, when she’s moved to do so but I also want her to follow her heart and if her heart says that music is her love, well, I support that with my whole heart.

And in the end, it was an honor to be recognized by the art teacher and invited to join the class even though she’s choosing not to do so. Having a choice is always nice.

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