Jo doesn’t like competition, examination or participation (in anything extra).
Piano teacher: Jody I think you are ready to take a piano examination.
Jo: No I don’t like examinations.
Piano teacher: What about a concert? I think you can play this piece for the concert.
Jo: No I don’t want to play in a concert. What if I play something wrong? What if people laugh at me?
Chinese Dance teacher: Zijun, are you sure you don’t want to join Chinese dance?
Jo: (as told through me because she’s too scared to talk to the teacher) No I never want to go on stage. And it’s very difficult and I have to stay back in school. What if I can’t do what my friends are doing?
(she stopped at the beginning of the year)
Chinese Orchestra teacher: Jody can play the ruan well. Can she join the Chinese Orchestra?
Jo: (as told to me) No I don’t want to join Chinese Orchestra. I don’t want any CCAs. I just want to come home every day, OK?
Gym teacher: I want to send Jody for competition in Hong Kong at the end of the year.
Jo: No I don’t want to go for competition. I never want to go for competition. What if I don’t win? I don’t like to lose. Not even if it’s a fun competition.
Swim teacher: Jody can swim. I can send her for training so she can take part in competitions.
Jo: No. I don’t want to swim in a competition. Anyway I hate Uncle Desmond.
KK completely understands her, because he says he was like that. He says it is an intensely competitive streak which compels her to not even put herself in a possibly losing position in the first place.
I always encourage her to go for it, but in the end I always go along with her decision. Everything she decides she doesn’t want to do, I relent, so she can enjoy her childhood, so she has all the free time she wants to play with Lulu, so she can ultimately self-direct. I am hopeful that one day she will master herself.
But I am not certain if I am doing the right thing. Is relenting the best I can do for her to realize her potential?