A funny thing happens after you become a parent. (Or should I say one of many funny things happen? Idle grass...)
You become an adult.
That's not to say you aren't an adult beforehand. Or that grown-up people without children aren't adults either.
But you make decisions differently than you did before you had kids.
Emily has the chance to try out for "company" again. (This is a special ballet corps that performs most of the dances in any productions they do at her dance studio. You need to try out to be in it, and she needs to be in it to continue dancing in the Nutcracker.)
She's not excited...or keen...or interested (in some ways).
She's been dancing for 10 years now; she still enjoys it for the most part; and she really really really (did I mention: really?) wants to continue dancing in the Nutcracker.
She tried out last year...and didn't make it. A blow to her confidence.
The one teacher who helps to judge the tryouts doesn't like her...at all. A blow to her self-esteem.
So why make her continue? Why encourage her strongly to try out again? And why not pull her out of this dance studio and go somewhere else?
The third reason I mentioned above.
Some people dance because they love to dance. Some people dance because they love to perform.
Emily is the latter.
That's not always easy to understand for those who think an activity should be fun and ego-building.
I likened it to my writing.
When I was younger, I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote. Everywhere I went, I carried a notebook and pen/pencil. My parents, my friends, my siblings, my everyone who knew me told me I should try to get published.
But I wrote, well, just because I loved to write. I loved the feeling of creating a story and characters and a whole new world.
Some people write to get published. Of course, they're probably better-off financially than me, but they do it for that purpose. I write because I want to.
So I'm pushing -- pulling, pleading, cojoling -- Emily to try out again. She may not make it (again), but it's a step in the right direction towards her goal to keep dancing in the Nutcracker and any other ballets they perform.
And I know this little "shove" will prove she can do it...it's just a matter of timing.