July 9, 2012

Even if she doesn't become a Rockette, it will still have been well worth it

"I may end up living down by the river in a van, but, she WILL STILL DANCE AND SING!" That is my newest maxim regarding my teenage daughter's commitment to the arts.

Yes, there are five, six, seven, eight dance routines she takes part in at any one time. She also sings. This equates to numerous hours of dance and singing lessons; my wife darting around, bringing my daughter and her friends back and forth to those classes; hours of competitions and recitals; and yes, a costume for each dance and song performed, along with various sundries such as footies and leotards. To anyone with a daughter or son involved in dance, they know the routine, which can sometimes be exhausting. It is not an inexpensive endeavor, either.

My bride and daughter just got back from a cruise to rainy Alaska in which my daughter and other dancers and singers entertained other travelers onboard. Before that they were in Seattle. This week they are in Seaside, Oregon, for a national singing competition. It has been a whirlwind month.

But let me get one thing straight right here and now. I AM NOT COMPLAINING!

There are parents who go through a lot more than we do to make sure their kids are participating in a worthy activity. I didn't see one of my friends for several years, because his three kids all participated in sports, which took up most of his and his wife's time. One of my daughter's dancing mates has a brother playing baseball on a traveling squad. That doesn't mean they just hop in their car and drive 300 miles to a game, they fly all over the country to baseball games.

Basically, what it comes down to is the enjoyment and life's lessons my daughter gets from dancing and singing and the satisfaction we as parents get out of seeing her do what she loves. The studio she performs with appears to be one big, happy family, made up of great kids, teachers and parents. The dedication my daughter shows for these arts is a characteristic she can carry with her throughout her life in other endeavors. The interaction with others beyond the hours spent in school is also a great lesson. Perhaps the greatest attribute she has developed is confidence, the kind shown when standing on that stage, all alone, belting out a song. That alone is well worth the price of admission! In fact, I'm probably getting a bargain.