When we signed the girls up for skating lessons this year, we had no idea the Duncan Skating Club was putting on a show… and initially we decided not to participate. Sometimes things have a momentum of their own… and one day I heard Daria had tried on a costume. We were off from there!
Our flower made her debut yesterday in two shows. One with both sets of grandparents watching, her siblings, her proud parents… the best part – there is nothing Daria loves more and is more passionate about than dressing up and performing – dance, musical theater, and now her first skating show! With her kind heart she reaches out to her fellow performers. She did not skate past them, even when she was instructed she could… instead she made the choice to support the other kids ahead of her (even if slower!) to do their best. Beautiful.
The down side of the beautiful show was an interesting culture in the dressing rooms – children were asked to bring “iPADs, mp3, coloring books…” for the waiting times in the 2 hour show that included all levels of skaters. When I walked into the dressing room (past “fort knox” – the security volunteers whose primary purpose was to keep parents out!)… there were 4 pods of girls, all quietly looking over 1-2 handheld devices each. Parent volunteers quietly doing the same alongside them.
What happened to chatting in the dressing rooms? Good old fashioned game of duck duck goose or telephone? Running around, eating together, interacting in some way face to face… anticipating their performance, sharing and giggling together afterwards. Are we really teaching our children “when there is idle time in your life, pull out a hand held”. The answer seems to be a resounding “yes”. I was sickened over the missed opportunity for connection in these young lives.