The past five days, I watched my adorable two-year-old nephew. I rolled cars and trains across the floor, danced to cartoon theme songs, repeatedly built a Lego tower just so he could knock it back down, chased him around in circles as he pushed a pamper box through each room on the first floor of my home, read “Marvin K. Mooney Would you Please Go Now” twenty times, sang him to sleep, and smiled him awake.
Even though taking care of him was no simple task. It was a beautiful way to spend five days. I didn’t concern myself with what I had to do next because I knew the 5 days were his. And believe me, they were all his. My sister told me I am very “accommodating” when it comes to him, and she is absolutely correct. I was very accommodating with own kids and I am also accommodating with my dance students and students I tutor. I took a moment to think about why I am this way.
For one, it was the way my mother was with me when I was a child. Two, I want children to know that they matter and they have some choices they can make on their own. I have no idea what kind of adulthood these children are going to have. The world can be unpredictable and scary. I want them to have beautiful memories to reflect back on. People used to always tell me that I spoiled my children, and I used to say, well, I want them to have the best childhood I can give them. I won’t have much control over their future. So, while they are in my home and while I am responsible for their lives, I take full responsibility for their happiness. I feel the same way about my dance students. Even though they are with me an hour a week, in that short span of time, I am the adult and I am responsible for not only their safety, but also their happiness. I think all adults should feel this way when they are in the company of children. It would certainly empower the next generation.
Here is a photo of my nephew. My sister took this picture today. They were hanging out, enjoying a rainy day : )