Living Vicariously

My daughter is a rock star. Seriously, she sings in a rock band! And she does it with such confidence that I can't imagine I possessed at age 10.

I think my son's a rock star too, band or not. He can't wait to join big sister on stage. Below is a pic from his violin recital.

What inspires and blows me away is their willingness to put themselves out there. They are both natural performers. As the kids of two parents who don't really love being in the spotlight, I marvel at where it comes from. 

But I secretly always wanted to perform. I hung out with people who were much more out there than me. I got to experience the thrill from the audience or from backstage or from being close to the person who was willing to get up there and sing.

I lived my own version of 20 Feet From Stardom, which, if you haven't seen, I recommend you check out right away.

Watching that movie I couldn't help but see it through the lens of motherhood--especially my version of motherhood which tended toward self-sacrifice. Seeing those extraordinarily talented musicians and singers not quite making it was both inspiring and heartbreaking. It helped me see how much my own habit of holding myself back for the success of others has not served me at all. 

Maybe it does help those you sacrifice for. But does it really? Does sacrificing for your child help them grow into someone who learns to take care of themselves? Or does the child learn to deny their own needs for others? Of course there's a level of sacrifice that's just the normal path of parenting. When it's too much though, everyone suffers. 

There's a part of me that enjoyed staying smaller and being the cheerleader. It's less risky! There's no fear of failure! It's safe and comfortable there. But...

That happened to me.

And while it may have been easier to not put myself out there to start a business dedicated to supporting women to stop holding themselves back, it started to feel really wrong to not share what I've learned. 

It's probably why it thrills me so much to see my kids on stage. It gives me the sense that they're confident and will never shy away from shining their inner light.

My wish for my kids is is that they maintain this confidence and that they never lose the sense of creativity and the joy of expressing that, in whatever form. 

We all have our brilliances. Sometimes we hide those parts of ourselves away to protect them, to not risk failure, to protect others we think need to shine more.

As a mother and a human I want to continue to take risks. To show my kids that it is worth it. And that their voices are worthy of being heard. So is mine.