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Why, thank you

Why, Thank You

Ella Grace, May 2016, Age 3

Asking why is part of human nature, and it starts immediately. We bombard our parents with that question many times as our developing minds explore the wonders around us.

Our why morphs as we live. We develop passions and in the ideal setup, we get to pursue our dreams motivated by more than just earning a paycheck. I know my why changed the moment I became a mother.

Until I became a parent, I had no idea how much the love for and from a child could complete me. Having lost my two brothers — one who lived only six years with severe cerebral palsy — I saw my parents live a life of devotion to family, a whole different journey with a child who has special needs.

But I grew up observing and understanding their why. It was us.

Now, as a parent, it makes even more sense. March 9, 2013 was the day my life changed, and it was no longer just about me (and my husband, of course). Yes, there were months of waiting and anticipation, but when I strapped that newborn named Ella Grace into a carseat and drove away from all the nurses, family and friends who waited on me hand and foot, that’s when I sat up straight and realized my why.

Fast forward three years to the King Center for the Performing Arts in Melbourne. Ella performed a few numbers on stage with her classes from The Viera Studio for Performing Arts, and a new why staked its claim on that stage. We knew at that moment — Ella belting out a song at the top of her lungs in front of a few hundred people, and then her teacher needing to escort her off stage so she’d stop curtsying and blowing kisses — what our mission as parents needed to include.

I’m often asked, “How did you get your daughter into [modeling and acting]?” And I respond, “I didn’t. This is her path, we are just here to clear the way for her.” And then I add, “In two years, she could change her mind and not want to do this anymore. But for now, we are all in.”

To have a child involved in show business so early is unique. And it is hard! It’s not a life I willingly pursued because it’s a lot of work… and I already work. It’s basically another job. Not to mention the travel adventures that surface with short notice.

Why was I given this tiny child with a huge personality? That’s not the why I focus on. I live each day excited to see how I can nurture what’s within her and allow her freedom of expression. I’m grateful to have front-row seats to the “Ella Show.” For that, I say, “Why, thank you.”

BREAKOUT:
Follow Ella (and mom’s) adventures on Instagram: @adventuresofellagrace

Click here to watch Ella’s national Disney commercial that debuted Oct. 9, 2017.

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