You want to be what?


Sheri Glantz, spe

After reading the title of this blog post, many of you might be wondering, “How bad could it be?” “To whom might she be referring?” “Did it actually come to fruition?” and “Who scraped Sheri off the floor?”

My story begins with the blessing of having my third child, a daughter – her slight, waif-like form, attached to my hip or my leg for nearly the first 12 years of her life, with little to no interest in talking to anyone outside of her family for just about the same amount of time.

I was never sure if it was due to her petite stature, or having an immune system comparable in size, but she seemed to contract strep throat at the drop of a hat, spike a fever if she was overtired, and never have much of an appetite. Because she was meeting and exceeding every developmental milestone, our pediatrician eventually assured me that there was no cause for alarm.

The years ticked by, and soon she was in full-day kindergarten – still welcoming strep throat while I welcomed the antibiotics that would have her good as new within 24 hours. By now, she would ask me things like:

“Would you still love me if my pointer finger pointed the wrong direction?”

“Yes! Of course, I would, you silly girl.”

“OK. What if I had two noses and just one eye? Would you still love me?”


“What about if I walked backwards – All. The. Time! Would you still love me?”

“You betcha.”

“Aha! Would you still love me if I only ever had 1 tooth and never any more than that?”

“Are you kidding me? You’d still be beautiful, and I would love you no matter what.”

During her primary school years, my little one tried ballet lessons, but she wanted to dance her way and not be bound by the instructor’s choreographed moves. She tried tap dancing lessons, but we discovered that she enjoyed the tapping sound her shoes made on my tiled floor much more than internalizing the skills required for this art. She tried soccer but running was never her thing.

More trips around the sun, more attempts to shock me with her imaginative “Would-you-still-love-me-ifs?” which by now were becoming more descriptive and outlandish. She reveled in my steadfast reassurance that I would love her, unreservedly, even if she did sing all of her conversations instead of speaking them.

And here we are in 4th grade, still spiking those symptomless fevers and maintaining close ties with amoxicillin.

One day, I said to her: “Sweetie, you’ve tried ballet, tap, soccer, (and who remembers what else by this time), and I think it’s really important for you to find one form of exercise, one activity, that you truly love to help keep your body and your mind healthy. Whatever you choose, just know that I will support you 100%.”

Without missing a beat, she retorts: “OK, I wanna be a pole dancer.”

She is waiting and watching for my reaction — even for the most indiscernible twitch in my plastered-on smile or the briefest blink of my eyes. Alas, she was grossly deflated when, without missing a beat, I replied:

“OK. There’s only one thing I ask of you.”


“Just be the best pole dancer you can possibly be.”

After her declaration of having pole dancing aspirations, followed by my non-reaction to what she had hoped would be a shock to my system, her disillusionment was evident as she turned from me, hung her head and wore disappointment like a lead cape. I awarded myself a “point” in the brilliant parenting column and never heard another “Would-you-still-love-me-if…” scenario again.

I would like to attribute her cease-and-desist action to the fact that, through the years, no matter what image she concocted of herself — regardless of how eccentric a situation she conjured up in her sharp little mind — I tried to make sure that she knew I would love her and support her unconditionally. Always. (Even though she never did become a pole dancer!)