After writing School Colors as I processed the Uvalde tragedy, I kept feeling and seeing the word BRAVE creep into my mind and body.
As with any tragedy, loss, or wonkiness we endure, I think people turn to comedy for some type of comfort or relief.
Pandemic comedians, where you at? (yes I used improper grammar and I liked it)...
Anywho, I've had a lot of ICKY after this most recent school shooting, and I have found myself SCROLLING more than usual- I guess as a form of searching for both relief and answers. 😞
Upon scrolling, I saw a meme of the 80's mustachioed dad tossing his bewildered 7 year old into the pool as his form of "swim lessons." Ha ha- so funny- so true (established 1976 right here), keep scrolling. Still smiling as my right thumb hovered over my phone, I felt a small nudge.
Kids who are brave.
Parents who allow kids to BE BRAVE.
Now I'm NOT thinking or talking about Uvalde, but I'm thinking and talking about the kids I see and know. The ones in my house. The ones in my neighborhood. The ones on my son's team. The ones in my son's acting group. The ones in their classes. My cousins' kids. My friends' kids. MY KIDS.
Last night I watched my youngest son do something SO BRAVE. It took so much courage to do what he did.
After his brave act, I asked him how he felt. He had mixed emotions (because his efforts were great but not PERFECT) and he was exhausted. I explained to him that what I loved the most about his endeavor was the COURAGE he displayed to even attempt his feat. Good, bad, perfect, terrible, wonderful, awful, whatever... he DID IT! And he did not give up. And he did not waiver. He believed in himself and he followed through without the
2022 SAFETY NET of PARENTS and SOCIETY.
But friends, are we the NET we think we are for these children?
Are we catching them when they fall or are we blocking the ladder to get to the scary top?
Are we so worried about their potential failure (and heaven forbid it being captured on social media) that we are keeping them from even DREAMING or BELIEVING or TRYING to reach for the stars?
Are we modeling GOING FOR IT and TRYING NEW THINGS or are we waiting on the sidelines watching reels of strangers going for it? Did we "see it on TikTok" or did we actually try it ourselves?
Are we letting them FAIL or are we making sure they SUCCEED at all costs?
Are we celebrating the lessons learned or only the medals won?
So I challenge you, Moms and Dads, Aunts and Uncles, Grannies and Nannies and Pappaws... talk to the children in your life about COURAGE and BRAVERY. Discuss success and failure at the supper table.
On the way to the "brave feat" last night, that same son asked me if some celebrity was a millionaire. My response: "I'm sure he is, but that doesn't mean he's happy. Ask that celebrity what matters to him, what he stands for, who he has helped in his life - that's a better question."
Give your dear ones a little wiggle room to make mistakes.
Let them have an original thought and better yet, AN OPINION.
Encourage them when they are frustrated, but please do not fix it all for them.
Allow them to clean up their own messes.
If I have learned anything in the past few weeks, it is that my children and the children in this world are BRAVE SOULS, braver than we will ever imagine. Let us unlock their courage and model resiliency after "failure."
Put your phone down.
Talk to the kids in your life.
Ask them what courage means to them.
SHOW THEM how to be brave.
I am still not okay after what happened in Uvalde, Texas.
I am okay with not being okay.
This post is not meant to belittle those events in any way.
I'm watching my children as they move through this.
I'm learning from them how to be brave.