Monday, January 17, 2011

From dancin' feet to soccer cleats

Like many mothers, I had a grand vision that my little girl would grow up with a love for dolls, playing dress up and wanting to don tutus whether it be at the dinner table or at a winter dance recital. Naively, I was excited about the prospect of her father and I having to cart her around to dance practices and the small fortune we would pay for her to prance on a stage for all the world (or Fort Worth) to see.

Now that I’m a little bit wiser, I’ve come to realize that children really do come with their own agendas and my daughter is certainly no exception to that fact. My preconceived notions of what activities a little girl should be involved in were nothing like what she had in mind.

We enjoyed one blissful year of hearing the sounds of metal slide across our kitchen floor as she practiced her “heel-toe-step” move, being train conductors as we helped her perform “Down by the Station” at MayFest and even wearing adult onesie pajamas at a Christmas recital for all our friends and family to see. But, by her fifth birthday, however, her true personality kicked into high gear and she wasted no time throwing trading that tutu in for a pair of soccer shorts! Deeply concerned by this, I asked her if she knew what “contact” sport meant?

Very confidently, she replied in a sweet voice, “of course, that’s a sport where you kick the ball, you know mom…make contact with it!”

Realizing that she had no idea what she was getting into, I knew this would be a short lived dream and I would have my dancer back in no time. If ever there were a time when I was wrong, this was surely it!  She began co-ed soccer and hasn’t looked back since.

We are currently in the midst of an intense a co-ed basketball season (because she has to have something to do between soccer seasons) and it couldn’t be more nerve-racking. She has been hit in the mouth with the ball, elbowed and even pushed down and each time she gets up with the biggest smile on her face.

I didn’t quite get the ballerina I’d hoped for, but each time she laces up those sneakers, I become her biggest fan. I take a deep breath and say a silent prayer that she’ll make it through the game unscathed. I’ve learned that part of this journey that we call motherhood is not about us but realizing who they truly are and having the strength to support them as they learn.

Nikki Hall-Branch is a Communications Coordinator for Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth whose daughter is always full of surprises.

No comments:

Post a Comment