straight to the heart

June 11, 2010 |  Category:   life parenting

Mia had her first ballet recital yesterday. It reminded me that I have, perhaps, a lifetime of opportunities to sit in the audience and watch my kids perform – in school, at recitals, performances, math leagues, whatever. It really hits you on occasions like these, that you’re a parent. Not so much the everyday, walking your kid to school, giving your kid a snack kind of stuff, but this.

It also reminded me of myself at that age taking ballet for a couple of years. We used to have formal pictures taken, something that we did every year, in our fancy tutus and leotards. We’d be instructed to pose and the photographers would snap a photo, much like class photos that you’d bring home from school. I remember overhearing one year, the photographer whispering to her assistant “that kid is really awkward and gangly”. She was talking about me, age 7 or so, as they were trying different poses to get a shot. I wasn’t supposed to hear that and they probably don’t think I heard, but I still remember that comment to this day and how it made me feel.

Just remember that kids hear everything. Some throw-away comment might make an indelible impression on young minds. They’re not as stupid or unaware as you think.

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  • Adele @ modernemotive June 11, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Oh so true!

  • gina June 11, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Kids aren’t stupid, but too many parents are. :^)

  • Claudia June 11, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    This kids performances are very exciting. In my son´s first presentation at school (he was 1 year), I cried like a baby while I was shooting him.

  • The French June 11, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Huh-larious! And so true. An old friend’s nephew got out of a car with his mom and ran up to hug his grandma and said, “This car is a f**king sh*t box.” Needless to say, Granny was a bit peeved. I personally would have laughed my face off:)

  • Alison C June 11, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    I wish all adults would remember that. All it takes is one comment. The fact that you remembered that two-second moment for decades says everything! It breaks my heart.

  • bronwyn June 11, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    So true. My daughter hears and notices EVERYTHING. There are certain family members that she’s not allowed to be alone with because of this. Is there anything sweeter than little girls in ballet class? Lessons start up again for us soon and I can’t wait.

  • The Dancer June 11, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    I agree with Alison. It only takes one comment to ruin a little heart. On the contrary however, complimenting a child you see that is in need of some extra love can go a long way too. It makes me sad to see my girl in ballet class in her cute little tutus. She is getting so grown up!

  • amber June 11, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Yes, those things remain deeply etched in your mind, even if they were said 20 years ago. Or 40 or 60. Kids need as much encouragement as they get, because adulthood really knocks it out of you. Beautiful photos.

  • ChantaleP June 11, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    You are so right about the last part. Mia looks wonderful in her ballet uniform.. I hope she had fun!

  • Marta June 12, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Wow, this entry hit close to home. Very, very true words, Jenna, and your girls are lucky to have a Mum who is aware if that. All children should have that luck.

  • lori June 12, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    I remember when I was about 8 years old, I overheard a friend of my mom comparing my legs to flamingos. I didn’t have the confidence to wear skirts or shorts until I was about 20. It’s very true that kids do hear everything and absorb it!

  • Lauren M June 13, 2010 at 8:10 am

    I know what you mean. You are beautiful and you were back then too.

  • molly June 13, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    funny how the whole parenting business sneaks up on you now and again, no? lovely, the photos and sentiments, both.

  • Chuzai Living June 13, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    You’re right. Sitting in the audience to watch your own kids hit you that you’re a parent. It sometimes brings me to tears to see my little one perform and my older kid is only 5… The photographer and her assistant clearly didn’t see the gem in you. Shame on them and lost for them. I believe that it’s up to the skill of a photographer to wether they can take beautiful pictures of an object or not. To complain about the object disqualifies them as good photographers. Kids do hear everything. Thanks for reminding me. -Kaho

  • Sara Jensen June 14, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    “Just remember that kids hear everything. Some throw-away comment might make an indelible impression on young minds. They’re not as stupid or unaware as you think.”
    Man, this made me like you even more. It is true. The things I hear people saying to their kids, its amazing. Totally disconnected and not realizing how much children understand.

  • Kristen June 15, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Wow, couldn’t agree with your closing line any more. What a good reminder for everyone. Kids are far more intelligent than adults think and you have to be really careful what you say around them. It’s true, I think us “adults” are the stupid ones half the time.

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