Monday, September 17, 2012

Swimming & Dancing: A little one with big confidence

Lila had a busy weekend. On Friday night, she started her new swimming class.  Lila refused to eat before class because she was way "too excited." She got dressed a full hour before her lesson-- Speedo, swim cap, goggles, water shoes. Needless to say, she was ready!

Lila has been taking swimming lessons since she was two (a wonderful birthday gift from Grandma). From that very first lesson, she naturally took to swimming. She's a little fish and as she progresses, my husband and I daydream aloud about Lila taking the gold as an Olympic swimmer. We are totally amazed and proud of her development, skill, and determination. She is so young, but we can't help but think this may be her "thing" for the long term-- Swim team? Trophies? College scholarship? Professional athlete? Okay, I know we need to remember she's only four but at night, when I put her to bed, I ask"Lila, do you know how well you did at swim class?" She responds not like a four year old but more like an athlete in training-- "Yes, but I need to work on my diving."

Saturday morning she switched gears and gear for an audition for the Nutcracker. Lila hasn't had formal dance lessons other than "creative movement" in preschool, but she looooves the Nutcracker. The last time we went to see it, she pointed to the stage and said "Mama, I need to be up there." So, when auditions rolled around this year, I felt she should have the chance to try out. (Clara tried out too! It will be so cool if they are in it together!)

My husband took Lila to the audition. She was the first to arrive, looking the part in her newly purchased, never worn Danskin attire. She was soon joined by young dancers, many who already had a couple years of lessons, one stretching her little leg straight up to her head. And her dad soon found himself amongst some experienced dance moms with an agenda: to ensure their little ones land a part. Despite the seriousness of some, Lila went in and had fun. She told me all about how she acted like a mouse eating cheese and pretended to be chased by a cat.

Lila can't wait to win a swim meet and perform on stage in the Nutcracker. She is so confident. For her, it's not "if," it's "when." "When I win the race..." or "When I am in the Nutcracker..."

She has this competitive nature that I've never had. In a recent game of Memory (during which I was losing, horribly), I told Lila, "Next time I am going to win." Lila looks me straight in the eyes and says, "You could try, Mama, but I accomplish things." She talks junk and flaunts her big vocabulary.

This is what I love and admire about her. As an aspiring writer myself, I reflect back about all the times I let fear of failure and competition stand in my way. Based on my own life experiences, I can't help but think about what will happen if Lila doesn't achieve a goal.

I am on the edge of my seat about the results of the audition. How will Lila handle it if she is not chosen? The bigger question is, how will I handle it? I am hoping that my fear will not rub off on Lila and that instead she will continue to influence me with her four-year-old wisdom and untainted confidence.

I remain in awe.



  1. She is a magical, wonderful, FEARLESS little girl - she'll go far! Enjoy the ride, Tara!