Letting Go


This time last year, my daughter was interested in two things – dance and gymnastics. I told her she could choose one for the school year. She chose dance.

I signed her up for a class. Ballet and tap. She loved it initially. Then, about halfway through she began to ask to quit. She wanted to do gymnastics after all. I explained she had made a commitment, and needed to stick with dance until the end of year Showcase.

I promised she could take gymnastics this school year.

She did stick with dance, loved performing on stage at the showcase and excitedly said she wanted to continue on, forgoing gymnastics. So I registered her for class. Now fall is upon us, and she has changed her mind. She does not want to return to dance.

She wants to take gymnastics. “To learn something new.” I know I promised. And I need to follow-through. But there is something holding me back.


Dance feels safer to me than gymnastics. I worry about my child getting hurt. Especially since she has epilepsy.

The two greatest dangers for her are heights and water. If she were to have a seizure while up high, she could be very hurt. Gymnastics includes things like the balance beam and uneven bars.

She’s been seizure-free since April. But one could occur at any time, and we have been told my doctors to always take certain precautions.

Dance also seems less competitive than gymnastics. I know my child will learn to compete, and there are many pros to it. But does it need to start at four years old? And would it be better in a team sport environment?

She will have a lifetime to compete and compare herself to others. One of the things I loved about the dance studio she went to was that their focus was simply on helping children learn and love dance.

It was a very supportive environment. And I don’t know that gymnastics won’t be that way. I just have a sense it will be different.

But I can’t hold her back because of my fears. Life is full of risks. Dangers. Some I can protect her from. Or at least prepare her for. Many I cannot. But I also can’t hold on tightly her whole life.

So much about motherhood is letting go.

So I’ll be checking out a couple of places and plan to sign her up for classes. Because I promised I would. What I can’t promise is that I won’t worry.

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