Dance Brings Out the Worst in Parents

Jasmine - Columbus, New Jersey
Entered on March 18, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I’m running onto the stage at my first dance competition. It’s so dark I can’t see anything, and when the spotlights flash on I’m blinded by the glare. Luckily I can’t see the audience at all, so I can hope my dad is here. After the competition ends, I run out to meet my mom. My dad isn’t with her. Even though he promised to come, he didn’t. I’m so disappointed.

After that, I could have ignored him for a month. I could have yelled at him and done what my mom calls my “ghetto head shake.” I could have given up on him. But I didn’t, because I believe in seeing the best in everyone. I know that having faith in people is really important, because without it I would have just given up.

Everyone’s been disappointed. You know the times when you FINALLY let your best friend wear your favorite white shirt she’s been begging to try on for a month, then she spills ketchup on it and blames her little brother? Or when your boss PROMISES to give you a raise, then just “doesn’t get around to it”? It’s easy to hold a grudge at times like these. The hard thing, but also the right thing, is to believe that they made a mistake and let it go.

I believe that it’s impossible to get through life without faith. People give excuses and lie about what they do. You can either brush off their excuses and spend your life angry, or you can just let it go and choose to believe that they’re sorry for their mistake. It’s your choice. I choose to focus on the good parts of people, not their mistakes.

It’s not easy to forget mistakes. I know when I’m angry, I want to scream as loud as possible at the person and then stomp away. Listening to their side of the story is out of the question. That’s the easy thing to do. It’s really hard to listen to their explanation. It’s even harder to put yourself in their shoes and forgive them. Sometimes it’s too hard for me to do. But I always try.

My dad still disappoints me sometimes. He’ll forget what time to pick me up, or he’ll completely forget that I hate tomato sauce and make pizza for dinner. It would be easy to just hold a grudge and think he’s irresponsible. I don’t because I know if I made a mistake, I wouldn’t want people to hold it against me.

I’m not mad at my dad for missing my dance competition anymore. I’ve realized everybody makes mistakes and then they try to fix it with excuses. To be happy, sometimes you need to just believe them. I know having faith and looking on the bright side won’t make my life perfect, but they will make my life a little easier. And that’s good enough for me.