Sunday evening, I attended the Indian classical dance debut of a former student. She was stunning. As I sat watching this confident performance, a combination of grace, strength, and emotion rare in fifteen year-olds, I could not help thinking of my own children. Though bar and bat mitzvas require quite a bit of work, this performance was on a whole other level.
Here was a person who I remember being silly, being very smart, being mature, being a student. Here she was so brilliantly performing in another context that she had been working on even when in my class. Here she was embodying her passion for dance and culture. As a former teacher I swelled with pride and emotion; I can’t imagine what was going through her parents’ hearts.
I wonder if my children will find a passion to follow and the discipline to realize their goals. How much do parents contribute to that path, and how much comes from the children themselves?