When I was 5, I begged my mom to let me take dance classes. After about, oh, 10 seconds of Introduction to Ballet, I got bored and quit. Then when I was 12, I decided I was going to teach myself how to play the keyboard. After only about a week of play, that brand new keyboard went into my closet where it sat and collected dust for years.
Now that I'm older, I wish I had stuck with those dance classes. Or really learned how to play piano. Or tried out for the field hockey team in high school. Watching the Olympics this week, I marvel at these young athletes who are the best at what they do in the world, and I wonder how they got to where they are.
Sure, it starts off with natural talent. But it takes years of practice, hard work, dedication and sacrifice to be the best in the world. Do they all just have the innate drive that tells them to keep going? Have they ever quit, or wanted to? Did their parents make them stick with it, or did they decide to on their own?
Sometimes I wish my parents had made me stick with those things, made me practice every day, made me appreciate what it would be like to be really good or even the best at something. And then again, I'm grateful they didn't. I'm glad they just let me be a kid, let me explore and then abandon new things on a whim.
Of course, my husband and I have great plans for our son. He's going to be a jiujitsu black belt by the age of 10 whether he likes it or not.
He'll thank us when he's the UFC welterweight champion of the world, right?