Lessons From My Daughter

From the time my daughter was four, we registered her in just about everything. There were the typical girl activities, such as ballet, jazz, figure skating, drama, piano, art and gymnastics. She was too young to know what she wanted, so we decided for her. Mom knows best, right? This pattern continued until the day I realized that my well-intentioned, encouraging self had turned into a closed-minded, selfish individual.

After taking figure skating for six years, my daughter told me she wanted to quit and play hockey instead, like her little brother. I didn’t see this coming and my immediate reaction was “hell no.” We had already dedicated way too much time and money to skating to have her walk away. After I got over that, it was then the shock of her choice of hockey. The images of my baby with her hair up in a tidy bun swirling around in her pretty figure skating dress turned to visions of her wearing bulky, stinky hockey equipment with her hair in a messy ponytail. It took me weeks to get that out of my head. In time, I came to accept her decision, and even respect it.

About a year later, I asked her to choose between her love of hockey and acting. She had been modelling and auditioning for films and commercials since she was four. Now that she had made a commitment to play rep hockey, I knew we couldn’t juggle both. Her decision to choose hockey did not surprise me. Truth is, I’ve felt for some time that her heart wasn’t into acting anymore. I just didn’t want to admit it to myself.

Looking back, I’m amazed at how my 10-year-old—an avid hockey player with some beautiful moves—has opened my eyes in so many unexpected ways. I’m proud that she came to these decisions on her own—to know what makes her happy.

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