Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

Posts tagged ‘Physical education and extra mural activities’

Doing what you love vs the fear of man

only as high as I reach can I growGoldilocks was quiet as we drove home from her dancing lesson. Subdued. Something was brewing inside her, and I decided to wait, and let it spill over when she was ready. Finally,it came. “Mom,” she said quietly, not looking up. “Do you think I’ll ever be good at dancing?” Now, Goldilocks is incredibly flexible and astoundingly musical. When music starts – any music – she simply cannot keep still. She has to move. And she does so with grace and joy.

“Yes, Darling. I think you were born to dance,” I said.

More silent brooding.

“I don’t think I want to go back to dancing,” she admitted at last.

We don’t have spare cash for extra murals. The money for this term’s dancing lessons had been carefully hoarded together since the beginning of the year, after months of pleading for dance lessons by both girls. We’d sacrificed to make this happen – we were glad to do so – and now, neither of them wanted to go back. Ever. She was miserable.

“Are you not enjoying dancing, my Love?” I asked gently.

“It’s not that!” she quickly answered. “I love it! I love the music, and the steps. I love the dances our teacher creates and I really love to dance.”


“What’s making you not want to go then? You’ve been pleading with me to let you go to dancing. Have you lost interest?”

Because I sit in the lessons, I knew there hadn’t been a specific incidence of meanness making her so miserable. But I also know that little girls can be incredibly cruel – subtly so – and devastate one another without thinking.

“It’s not that,” Goldilocks said slowly. Then it came out all at once. “It’s just that I haven’t been to lessons for two terms. I don’t know any of the steps. And I’m the oldest one there! Everyone else must surely think I’m an idiot, making mistakes all the time and being stuck with the younger classes.”


“If there was no one in the class, would you go?”

“Oh yes!”

“Do you enjoy dancing?”

“I love it!”

“Do you know those other girls? Do you know what they’re thinking, what they’re like? Does it affect you at all any time besides that half hour a week in the school hall?”

“Well … no. I suppose not.”

I explained to her that the other girls are probably very nice young ladies with no idea how old Goldilocks is, and no interest in her achievement since they’re all focusing on getting it right themselves.

But aren’t we like that sometimes? We give up our dreams because of potentially unfounded fears of what others will think of us.

Who cares? So what if someone laughs at you. You’re doing something you love, aren’t you? Does it really matter, after all, if someone you don’t know and almost never see thinks less of you for something outside of your control, like how old you are or how often your mom takes you to dance class? Surely not! The truth is that those people probably have no interest in your concerns. If they think about you at all, in all likelihood it’s probably to admire your courage. But the truth is that people are so wrapped up in themselves, they’re probably not thinking about you at all. Are you deriding them in your mind? Do you think less of them because of their age or race or experience or circumstances? I didn’t think so.

I explained to my dear Goldilocks that she needed to decide what mattered more to her: the imagined derision of her dancing partners, or the dancing itself. I assured her I would respect and support her requirements, whatever they turned out to be. But I encouraged her not to give up her dream simply because she thought someone might laugh at her.

Someone might. Someone almost always does. Dreamers unintentionally set themselves up as targets of ridicule. But that doesn’t stop them from changing the world. Don’t let it stop you, either. The mockers are too small to matter, and you are too awesome to let them.



In yesterday’s post I mentioned a milestone that I feel needs some of its very own “ra ra”. Goldilocks got her first bicycle nearly seven years ago, when she turned three. Actually, I mean tricycle, and she rode it gleefully for a little while, then used it as an armature for tents and the like. We were later informed by her godparents that by age three she should have been proficient on a trike and progressing to a small bicycle with training wheels. Ha ha ha, how we laughed.

Eventually, around her fifth or sixth birthday, we got such a beast, and upgraded it when she turned eight (I think) – thanks, Grandpapa Bear! We never could find training wheels for the bigger bike, so when Red Riding Hood got her own bicycle for her fifth birthday, the girls simply took turns sharing that one. They’re not very far apart in size and Goldilocks will accept a variety of adverse conditions (such as hunched up knees) if it means getting her way.

To the annoyance and frustration of both girls, their friends recently moved into a much bigger house, and with the extra garden space both kids almost instantly mastered bike riding. This was particularly irksome for Goldilocks, who is fully two years older than the older of the two friends. Red Riding Hood doesn’t seem terribly phased by the whole thing. We took their bicycles to their friends’ new place so that they could practise together. Instead, Goldilocks, Red Riding Hood and the youngest friend (only 4!) took turns riding Red Riding Hood’s bicycle!

We brought the bicycles home.

This Monday I decided to take the girls out riding, and get a good walk in for myself in the process. Since Red has training wheels, I focused on keeping Goldilocks upright. However, I confess to tricking her by only pretending to hold the handle bars. When she realised what I was doing, she simultaneously realised she was riding by herself. Her progress after that was meteoric, and by the end of the hour and a half that we were out, she had mastered starting, stopping, turning around, and going fast both uphill and down. She LOVES riding her bicycle now, and has so enjoyed going out with Papa Bear for the past two days, showing off her skills. Papa Bear and I are getting a good work out in the process, too.

That’s my big girl! I knew she’d get the hang of it when she was ready.

(Yesterday we finished her maths exam. 63.3%, which is not bad considering it was a Grade 4 exam and she is doing Grade 2 maths with me, to make sure all her bases are covered).

Unexpected blessings.

We are busy. We have work coming out of our ears on all sides. In fact, we’re so busy, we decided it was time to get help of some kind. In particular, a lot of adminny work was being neglected, and since some of this is for paying customers, that’s not really okay.

As it happens, two of the young men in our Church have been on the prayer list since the beginning of the year, looking for work. One of them has shown an interest in graphic design and IT support (pretty much what we do), and happens to have his own, brand new laptop. Since the work we need to have done is mostly data capture into MS Excel, a computer is essential.

On Monday, we invited him to come and work for us on daily basis, and we’ll see how it goes. So far, it’s been such a blessing. A lovely disposition, willing heart and aptitude to learn, as well a good work ethic, have made it a pleasure having this staff member (so far :)).

Today he proved himself even more useful: as Sports Coach! I was horrified last week to discover that the government mandates two hours of physical education each week. It’s been worrying me a lot that the girls don’t get any physical exercise at all, but perhaps we now have a solution. After school this morning, Our Young Many (OYM) took the girls into the front garden and taught them to kick and throw balls at specific spaces. It was SO good for them. They had a blast and while I watched through the kitchen window (“making lunch”, I called it), I felt a weight of anxiety lift from my shoulders.

A few other little blessings have snuck their way into our lives this week:we have found a small, affordable, girls-only after care just two blocks from our house, where the girls can spend a few hours in the afternoons playing with their friends and swimming. Again, I was concerned that they weren’t swimming enough, but problem solved!

And finally, there’s a drama club across the road from our house. They’re welcome to join (for a VERY small fee), and the lady who teaches is a talented and accomplished actress with a heart for God. DD#1 has been begging for drama lessons for ages, and now perhaps her prayers have been answered.

What amazing blessings! All we need now is a ballet teacher for DD#2. I’m working on it.

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