A few months back Chris (Chris and Vic) brought up the topic of "living up to ones full potential". I instantly thought that it would make a great, thought provoking, post. I settled in with my laptop, fully expecting to bang out the words with ease.
"Let them be who they are and find their way. They'll decide what their own full potential is and follow the path." It sounded so simple as I was writing it. Then I stopped to think about what I was saying. Could I really just let Paige follow her own path? Is that what a parent should do?
Does everyone have the ability to realize their own full potential, without direction?
I saved the post and decided to pick it back up again a few weeks later. I stared at the screen in hopes of continuing the post I had started. But, my feelings on the topic had changed. When Paige came home from the NICU I used to say, "I don't care if she shovels sh*t for a living, as long as she is happy." Did I think, back then, that shoveling manure was in her future? Would that be all she would be capable of doing?
So, does ones abilities dictate their full potential?
Life took over and I never finished the post. It wasn't until I received an email, from someone that I met a year ago in the blogworld, that opened my eyes to my part on the path to Paige's full potential. This person is an accomplished specialist and a former preemie. His long term issues are not visible in daily life, for the most part. But, he was embarking on a personal goal in a sport that is rough and he was concerned about his ability in one area, due to one lingering preemie issue. I was so proud of him for trying something so difficult. He never gave up and his perseverance paid off.
In the comments section of a recent post I mentioned that I recently made a pretty big parenting mistake. Paige asked if she could take ballet again. She was in it for a few years when she was 4-5 years old. It was fun watching her dance around and quite the tear jerker for hubby and I during her recital. The year after we moved we enrolled her in a ballet/tap group. She was older now and her limits were quite apparent. She could not properly stretch, nor could dance without pain. She asked to stop and we had no problems agreeing.
Well, jump ahead to the end of last month. Paige asked if she could take ballet again. While she was asking me she was dancing around looking so sweet. But, her limits are really apparent now. She cannot stretch her legs and the tightness in her muscles causes her pain, even when she is not doing anything strenuous like ballet. The kids she would be in class with would be much further along than her. She started begging to take ballet.
(here comes the huge parenting mistake) I told her no. *I* knew that it would cause her pain, both physically and mentally. *I* knew that she wouldn't be able to keep up. *I* knew that she would have to drop out of the class.
But, it wasn't until I received the above mentioned email that I realized my mistake. Who was I to dictate what Paige was capable of doing? Even though I was trying to protect her, was that the best possible way of handling it? I no longer think so.
I learned a lesson, thanks to one special person sharing his concerns and then his triumphs. I still can't decide how I feel about Paige living up to her full potential. I still can't fathom what her full potential may be.
I do know this though... I need to make sure I am not the one who limits the possibilities of what her full potential may be.
Thanks Chris for always making me think.
Thanks LS for sharing your news with me. There was a lesson for me to learn and you opened my eyes.