Thursday, January 16, 2014

Life Lessons From Little People

Days go by and I can’t seem to find the inspiration to write about anything remotely interesting. My days tend to blend together and while I personally thrive on routine, I realize that it can seem mundane, especially to the average reader. But then there are times that as soon as an idea pops in my head I literally have to race to a computer to make sure I document it before it’s lost. I am having one of those moments right this very second.
I just returned from my kid’s talent show audition. This was a last minute decision to try-out, and I was a tad skeptical that they would actually follow through. It all started yesterday while Gwyn was on a play date with one of her best pals Lucy. They decided to choreograph a dance routine to Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble.” They practiced on their own last night, but I just figured when it came time to actually try out, one or both would flake out. I met them for lunch beforehand and they were chomping at the bit to go. And I was even more surprised when Gwyn’s twin brother Rowan told me is now part of the act as a backup dancer (ummm hopefully not the next Kevin Federline) and part of the “big move” at the end. I smiled and thought this would be cute, and of course interesting. We got to the gym and I played the song on my phone while they rehearsed. It was a little rough around the edges, but what else can you expect from a bunch of 6 year olds? They finally were called on stage. All three were blushing, and incredibly embarrassed. I still thought one might decide to take off, which would probably give the others an excuse to bail. But they kept looking at me for reassurance and I gave them my signature “thumbs up” and wink, which they always respond with a wink back and I knew they were going to follow through.
The song started and they began their routine. And the next thing I realize is that I’m getting choked up. And let me tell you, it’s not because of their incredible moves! One word came to mind. Vulnerable. Right about then I realized I was learning a life lesson from these little ones. Vulnerability. It’s a scary thing, let’s get real. Kids are a clean slate. They probably haven't gone through heartache or extreme disappointment. And because of this they are so open to new experiences, and chances are they dive right in, without fear or trepidation. As adults, it seems like often we are willing to pass through life and not make ourselves completely vulnerable—to goals, jobs, relationships, friends, family, etc. We protect ourselves for various reasons, usually for fear of failure or fear of getting hurt, because we've been hurt or failed in the past. These kids put their fears to the side and did it anyways. And at the end, when they were accepted into the show, you could see them beaming with pride and excitement. Let’s be honest, it’s not always going to work out the way we want. Often we will fail and we will hurt. But there is something remarkable in knowing this and still making yourself completely vulnerable, to know you still put it all on the line and able to go there. That in itself is something to beam with pride. And when you finally do hit it's nothing short of magical. If everything was a guarantee in life, where would be the fulfillment in that?
So in the end, thank you to Rowan, Gwynnie and Lucy for reminding me that there is never any shame in making yourself completely vulnerable, because in the end that’s how we get to the good stuff in life. And I can’t wait to see the final performance next week!

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