Children change. Adults change. People change. We’re awfully big puzzles. It takes a long time to turn over all our pieces, let alone to figure out where they’re meant to go. Sometimes, the pieces that felt like edges and endings are just an unusual way to connect to something more.
Too many of us set up a different kind of puzzle border around our kids, and even ourselves. We modern parents are pretty savvy about some labels.
We make decisions based on who we think our children are, and those choices can box our children in. One legendary failed tennis lesson at six can lead to a forty-six-year-old who has never again tried the game.
We know, too, that our own paths as adults have often been unexpected. We know we’ve found joy in unexpected places, and pleasure in things we were afraid to try. We know that sometimes we surprise even ourselves.
When we lose the labels, we give our children permission to change, and then change again, until they become whoever they are.
That permission is a gift that strengthens our bonds with one another far more than the ability to tell the same tired old story about why your daughter won’t ride roller coasters.
Not so long ago I started singing, although I remembered the label I once got, not to be able to sing in tone. I started singing because as a presenter I use my voice and I like to think out of the box, so I started singing to work that voice. And I must say I love to sing and my teacher even tells me I have got talent and a beautiful voice, so I am happy I turned that piece and made it fit into my puzzle.