My brother and I walked home from Roosevelt Elementary School on a typical day and Dave walked upstairs to his room. I did something unusual. I walked right into my parents’ bedroom, climbed up to the middle of their big bed, looked at my mom who had wisely followed me, and proclaimed through tears, “I don’t want to be tall anymore!”
I praise God that my mom heard my heart cry and began a conversation. I told her what happened that day and complained about being clumsy and too tall. She heard me. Really heard me. She could have responded, “Well, get used to it. You’re going to be tall.” But, she intuitively knew that wouldn’t calm my heart.
My mom loved me by listening.
My mom loved me by not saying what wouldn’t have helped.
That night, my mom told my dad about our conversation and they brainstormed. They knew I’d have to get comfortable with my height eventually, and the earlier the better. And, they knew I could get less clumsy with some intervention.
My parents loved me by problem solving.
By the end of that week, my mom had enrolled me in dance classes. They were conveniently held at my elementary school every Friday after school. I learned quickly and thrived. Like a lot of little girls, I fell in love with Miss Artinian.
Tap was my favorite, although I also learned ballet and acrobatics. Each of these disciplines helped me gain control of my body and I became less and less clumsy. I became comfortable with my height, partly because I got to be the center of the back row and Miss Artinian made it seem like a position of high honor.
My parents loved me by recognizing others could help me.
My parents loved me by not being threatened by my love for another adult.
Is it possible for a conversation and the ensuing actions of parents to change a life for good? Absolutely! If I had been uncomfortable with my body much longer, I wonder if I’d be able to stand before thousands of people as a public speaker today?
My parents loved me by understanding today can change tomorrow.
If my body smart abilities wouldn’t have been awakened, I also would have missed out on dancing, helping to teach dance, great drill team experiences, marching in marching bands (including in the Rose Bowl parade while in high school and in an amazing college band), being an athlete, and coaching middle schoolers.
My parents loved me by awakening my body-smart intelligence.
I am grateful!
How will you love your children today?