Thursday, December 16, 2010
I Can't Sing
I can’t sing. I know that because my third grade teacher assigned me a solo for the chorus recital, and then rescinded her offer after hearing me. I also know because my 8th grade chorus teacher gave me an ‘F’ on my report card. Throughout my entire elementary, middle and high school career, I had straight A’s except for that one F. Obviously, I could not sing.
I’ve heard the can’t word a lot of other times in my life. And I’ve heard the not-good-enough phrase more times than I feel I should have. I’m not sure why I kept hearing those things. Surely all the folks in my life sphere couldn’t be conspiring to knock down my self esteem, but it was indeed knocked down. My response to all those people was to prove them wrong (remember those straight A’s?).
I’ve spent my life proving naysayers wrong because I feel like I have to. I was told, “You can’t be a police officer.” Oh yea, watch me. “You can’t be a parent because you are not a good enough wife.” Oh yea, watch me. “You can’t do that job, or complete that, or succeed at …..” Oh yea, watch me.
Yes, I did and continue to prove the naysayers wrong, but it’s exhausting and takes a high toll on one’s self esteem in the process. I don’t want my children to travel that same path.
I refuse to let people talk about what my children can’t do – whether those people are doctors, teachers, family or friends. I refuse to let anyone say that my children are not good enough, and if anyone doubts that, I dare them to say it to me.
I want my children to grow up knowing they are unique and capable and loved, not for what they can or can’t physically do, but just for the people they are.
So, if I could only give one gift to my children this Christmas it would be the knowledge that they are now and always will be good enough and that they can do anything they want to do, regardless of what anyone says. My goal is to surround my children with people who believe as I do.
So, if you have been asked to leave our circle of friends – if I have asked for a new professional to take your place – if you feel us withdrawing from you – now you know the reason why.
Oh, and my children have never complained about my singing – especially the deaf ones :)