I know most are well-intentioned, but their expectations of my children are sometimes completely off base.
Take, for example, the assumptions people automatically make about my teenage son and the sports he plays.
The thing is, my son has never had much interest in playing sports, and when he hit adolescence, he lost any interest he once had.
Over the years, I’ve come to accept that their questions have absolutely nothing to do with my son and have everything to do with other people’s perceptions of how the world works. They are trying to make conversation and often feel bad when their efforts fall flat.
So I generally try to move the conversation forward by talking about his musical interests.
But a few weeks ago, I started redirecting questions about my daughter.
She has been rehearsing for a local stage production of the musical Annie, and naturally everyone is asking what character she is playing.
Initially, I said “she is only in the chorus.”
But Kendall doesn’t think she is “only” in the chorus. She believes she is a part of something great, and she doesn’t care that she doesn’t have a speaking role.
She simply loves the theater.
She’s always loved singing and dressing up, and musical theater provides the opportunity to do both. While I am surrounded by parents bragging about their children’s roles, I’m not bragging at all. Instead, I am watching my daughter glow because she is doing what she loves.
Her happiness on the stage has served as yet another learning stage for me as a parent.
There is nothing wrong with having pride when our children excel, but there is even greater satisfaction witnessing them get passionate about something bigger than themselves.