Follow Your Passion: And let the kids follow theirs.
I don't talk about my kids often. I keep them off of my social media profiles and try not to share too much about them, especially anything they may find embarrassing now or in the future. But today, I am going to have to break that rule. I feel it is absolutely necessary for me to rant and rave about my first born and not just because I am so proud of him, but because I feel that what I am ranting and raving about has value beyond expressing a mother's pride in her son.
Some backstory first. I have three fantastically amazing children. When we were expecting our first child we talked about what kind of parents we wanted to be, as folks often do when the time comes. One of the many things we agreed on was that we would not push them into our passions or things we wish we had given a go at in our younger days. We agreed to let our kids try all the things and hopefully they would stumble upon their own passions. The one rule is, once you've signed up, once we've paid, you're in it until the term/season/whatever is over. Then if you don't like it, you don't have to do it again, but once the commitment is made, you fulfill your commitment. And we've stuck with it. They've all tried a variety of things from wrestling to soccer to dance to 4H to ninja class and so on.
Of course Covid put a damper on the trying of things for a while, but this past January we got them back into things. Our oldest had wanted to do drama, but they didn't have a program at the middle school. So I got on the ol' intrawebs and found what looked to be a good program in our area. Now, originally he only wanted to sign up for Improv, which was one night a week. But events unfolded (another story for another time), and we went from zero after school activities to three nights a week of Acting, Rehearsal, and Improv and he was immediately in love. Of course, I was beaming a bit to see him so in love with something I also love, but mostly just to see him so in love with something.
Then this past weekend, it was finally time for the play. They were performing Matilda Jr. A play cast entirely of children that takes place in Britain and even has a few Russian characters in it. To my knowledge, none of the children in the cast were British. I was expecting it to be cute, but I admit I was not expecting it to be as phenomenal as it was. The theater is not large, but they really made the most of the space. AND THE ACTING!!! This is a group of kids that is loaded with talent! They nailed the humor, the serious moments, the singing, the accents, improv, all of it, like real pros. When I say I was impressed it is only because I don't know a single word for super duper insanely mind blown!
I seriously did not expect the level or performance we saw. As I watched these children sing and dance and act their little hearts out. As I've listened to my son and some of the friends he's made talk about their experience and their passions. It was a good reminder. Not just for parents, but for anyone with children in their lives and even in their community. These kids are the future. SUPPORT THEM. Most adults I know struggle to pursue their passions and live with stone after stone of regret and self doubt on their shoulders. Now, I admit, I don't know how most of these kids actually feel about acting. It may be something their parents are pushing them to, but what I do know is that they all were amazing and that my own son feel in love with acting immediately, after several attempts at other activities, and now wants to make and be in movies. And I won't be the one to stuff that light out.
So, I guess the point I'm trying to make is, lead by example. Follow your passion and encourage kids to follow theirs. And also, if you have the opportunity to see a play performed entirely by kids, DO IT! Even if you don't know a single one of them. You won't regret it!