My daughter found this photo for me, and asked if I wanted it for my blog.
Of course, I said.
My daughter. She’s 10. She’s creative. Resourceful. Thoughtful. And Electronically savvy too.
She searches for “her thing” . . . . her passion. So many kids seem to have “it” at this age, in our era of starting and choosing “a sport,” “a thing,” “a passion” — at historically unprecedented young ages.
Her brother (13) has found “his thing,” she says.
I look back. Yeah, I remember the first time he swung a golf club, after a wee bit of introduction, at age 7. “Wow,” I watched, in almost disbelief. He was a natural. A natural golfer. He swung that club so smoothly, so effortlessly, in what appeared to be an almost perfect golf swing.
But he doesn’t love golf.
Sure, he plays. Once or twice a year, joining others in an enjoyable and quite respectable 18 holes.
But it’s not his love, his passion. That, he reserves, for soccer. He’s a natural athlete, mind you, but he’s worked at soccer. He’s taken his God-given talent, and worked it to the max. He’s found “his thing.” His passion. And I love to watch it burn.
“Lots of my friends have found “their thing” too,” says my daughter. Now, it’s not that she hasn’t tried things; and it’s not that she’s not good at them. She’s a soccer player, a skiier, a talented little artist, having dabbled occasionally in dance, piano, and gymnastics. But they’re not “her thing.” She wants to find “her thing.”
I’d like her to find it too, for her sake (okay, mine too). We all know that kids who are engaged in extracurricular activities and interests are generally happier, more productive, more fulfilled. (And, let’s face it, it helps keeps them out of trouble.)
Yet how do we best help our children find and develop their “thing(s)” . . . “their passions”? It comes back to the delicate balance, doesn’t it? That delicate balance of exposing our kids to anything and everything (maybe fostering it into a passion . . . and watching it beautifully burn), while not letting it — and them — “burn out.” Whew, that’s enough to make me tired, and unbalanced, right there.
Yet, I offer us (passionate) parents this, from the Huffington Post (Nurturing Your Child’s Passion Without Being A Dreadful Stage Mom).
Sit back . . . read . . . light that candle . . . and watch it burn.