Last week during one of the hubs dance classes, I watched as my youngest son mimicked his Dad’s movements. Even though we had missed about four classes due to work changes and guitar lessons for big brother, even with him being the youngest in the class (only 5 years old), and no idea of choreography, my boy walked in there and picked up the whole routine in minutes. Soon, he was leading the class of high schoolers, walking them the complicated foot moments they’ve been working on the past couple of weeks. During the last few minutes of the class, an older woman who was there for a yoga session took some time to watch him. She’d been here before. After watching for a bit she pulls me aside and says in an astonishment, awe, and admiration:
“What to do with all that talent?!”
Jr. is naturally gifted in movement. Dancing since his legs were strong enough to hold him up. Unafraid to perform in front of audiences at just 3 years old. He started Parkour classes this winter and I was immediately asked what other training he has had. Dad of course, combined with a gift from God. His training is hip hop classes, now Parkour to improve his coordination and strength, next I hope to find him an outlet…a place to channel “all that talent”. When he was just a toddler, we recognized Jr.’s gift, and I thank God we’re in a position to help him explore and learn more about it. And most importantly expose him to a world where living your dream is possible.
“You’ve got to respect the gift God gave you by learning your craft.” ~ Quincy Jones
Raising my children is a constant journey of new lessons and discoveries about myself. At one point in time, I felt (and sometimes have moments where I still feel) that having children has limited my ability to dream, believe, and create. I mean, have you tried to get creative after a day of work and homeschool in a house full of rowdy boys? I’ve felt (and sometimes still feel) that my dreams must be placed on hold or put secondary to everything else that requires my attention. I’ve felt (and sometimes still feel that) helping them explore, learn, and master is my job and that those things for myself aren’t able to be done in the same time. I’ve felt (and sometimes still feel) that there are only so many hours in a day, so much energy to use, and so much dedication and focus to be given to one task for one person. I’ve felt (and sometimes still feel) that there’s simply no room to do it all. For me and for them, and so, I choose them.
But then there’s moments like this where I watch my son in his element. In perfect synchronicity with his gift. I think about what that woman said to me, what to do with all that talent? I think about what Quincy Jones says about respecting your gift. And I recognize those feelings don’t have to be my story. I realize that, what I’m doing for Jr., the research, the space, the experience, and the exposure, is exactly what I need to do for me. That the things I’m teaching him, are lessons I need to learn as well. And the reality that I want him to know is available to him, is one that is available for me too.
Sometimes I look at all my writings–here, in my saved drafts, notes app, journal entries, random bits of paper anywhere an idea hits me–and I think, what to do with all?
I couldn’t answer her question that day. I had no idea what to do with all that talent. Not knowing is exactly why we were there, at dance class. It was why I found a parkour gym to allow him a safe space to flip, jump, and run. Not knowing is why I spend time researching, letting him try new things, going deeper where there’s interest, pulling back when there’s not. But, perhaps that’s the answer after all. Watch it, nurture it, give it space, assist it, and follow its curiosity. So that’s what we’ll do. For them. And for me too. ~xoxo
Most Sundays I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.