Caroline has been gone all week on a trip with her friend to Disney World. I would be lying if I said that I wasn't jealous. We weren't able to do a family vacation this year, so other than going to visit family, I am not going anywhere special. I have spent most of this summer as a taxi driver or housekeeper. My sink seems to have developed magical powers this summer: any dishes left in it, multiply three fold by the morning.
Since we have been stuck at home, I have tried to make sure Lily has lots to keep her busy this summer. I signed her up for art camp. She did fantastically! I am not bragging when I say that she seems to have real talent. Her paintings were so beautiful. As I drove her home, I entertained visions of further art classes and art shows. At the same time, Lily was entertaining ideas about the end of art class. She hated it! How can she be so talented and not want to improve? She thought that having a teacher took the fun out of drawing and painting. Lily does not take kindly to being told what to do. And truth be told, neither of my kids like to practice things. So art lessons are over.
Lily did make a convincing argument for gymnastics. She feels that it will make her more flexible and improve her dancing. Lily loves to dance around the house. In the comfort of our den, she is a terrific little dancer. In dance class and on stage, though, she is stiff and shy. This doesn't seem to bother her at all. She may not be the best, but she has fun.
I have always said that I wanted to raise independent thinkers. I didn't ever consider that fact that their thinking most likely will not mirror mine. When you baby is born, you look at her and see unlimited possibility. There in your arms is the chance for a life better than yours. Your child will have opportunities that you never did. It is so hard when your child chooses to do things differently than what you had in mind. I have been through this with Caroline and I am gearing up for it with Lily. The best that I can do is guide them toward choices that are safe and productive. That's not to say that I have no part in their future or choices. "This is not negotiable" is the predominate quote in our house. I often tell Lily that she is not a baby alligator. She isn't ready to live on her own yet. She needs my guidance, but I also need to respect her decisions.