I see them.
I see me through their eyes.
I judge me.
It’s one thing to be the pseudo assistant coach, helping Ella navigate the drills but this spring soccer session is a whole other story. Tonight, I found myself hovering above the field, objectively realizing the absurdity of it all. I saw Jakob on the sidelines making a bed out of all the spare balls. Meanwhile, Ella was lying on the turf pointing up at the clouds whilst I tried to reason with her to get up so that I didn’t have to try and pull her up while holding Audrey.
Why? Why do I bother? Why not give up? Why sign her up at all?
In a couple of weeks it will be Ella’s ballet recital. She, along with five other girls will get all dolled up in their cowgirl costumes and pink ballet slippers and skip onto stage in front of hundreds of people. And I know, I know that one of the following could happen:
a.) Ella could refuse to go on stage at all.
b.) Ella could get on stage and flop down as she so often does and refuse to dance…and trip up all the other girls who are dancing or
c.) She could get on stage, see the crowd and run off…which is precisely what I did in my first ballet class on parent viewing day. That’s right, I didn’t even make it to the recital.
So why do I do it? Why do I pay hundreds of dollars to have Ella in an hour long Ballet class each week? Why do I sit down with each teacher and explain, at length, how to manage Ella and her flopping tendencies?
Because I also know that when that curtain goes up, Ella could get on that stage and dance her heart out with every perfect gallop, tendu and plié. Because I know that she knows the dance – she knows every step to every count and can do them all. And I know that in dancing week after week, despite the struggles and possible criticism, that her being there is shaping the person that she will become and working to fulfill the great potential that my little girl has.
She can do it. She just needs people who believe in her.
After school today, Ella’s aid came up to me SO excited to show me what Ella had done. Inside the small box were popsicle sticks. As Ella pulled out each stick she read the names of each of her friends. Without help and this was not something that they had practiced. As her aid said, proof to her teachers in the future: she can do it. Yes, she may take a little more time, and she may be a little hard to understand but she can do it. She can read. She can speak French. She can be a friend. She can dance. She can play soccer. She just needs people to believe in her.
Thank you. Seriously, thank you to all of you who believe in Ella. Believe me when I say that it does not go unnoticed nor is it taken for granted. I cannot tell you how much it means to me. Because of you, she is one step closer to fulfilling her great, vast God-given potential. Because of you, her confidence grows each day and she believes that she can and that she will. She knows she is worth being heard, worth being seen and worth being valued.