I love to send greeting cards. It’s not complicated, but the impact can be huge. That small piece of paper is a tangible acknowledgement-- you are thought of, you are appreciated, you are seen.
I was recently delighted to find the following message on the back of a greeting card (funny, I don’t even remember the front, the part that’s supposed to catch your eye). It really spoke to my role as a mom, family advocate, and studio owner. I know that at this time of year you may begin to feel like you’ve lost count of the hours spent as a supporting cast member in your family’s life-- driving, juggling schedules, enforcing music practice, dialing back drama, honing ballet bun making skills and watching, watching, watching. But I want you to know that you are really the heroes behind the scenes, supporting, uplifting, and witnessing the unfolding of this next generation.
I read recently that by the time you reach age seventy-five you might easily have slept the equivalent of twenty-five years of your life. I think I've already spent as least that much time watching. Last week I watched my son Ross play trombone in a jazz band concert, my daughter Maria dance in a recital and my husband Paul's barbershop quartet in concert. Soon, I'll begin the springtime rite of sitting on hard metal bleachers watching countless hours of high school baseball.
I was telling my mom that maybe I should be doing more and watching less when she laid the truth on me in her reliably sensible way. 'We can't all be stars,' she said. 'Somebody has to watch, or it would take all the fun out of performing.' Then I remembered how our daughter rushed up to us after last year's school musical. 'Did you see my dance?' she wanted to know. The fact that Mom and Dad had seen her seemed as important as the dance itself.
My mom also pointed out that there's more to my role than simply watching: Somebody has to drive to rehearsals, get the piano tuned and volunteer to bring the post-game snack. None of that may be glamorous, but I've learned that the performance - or whatever form that 'starring role' takes - couldn't happen without the supporting players. We watchers play an important role in the lives of others, who need to know that someone is cheering especially for them.
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