If we are friends of Facebook – I am sure that you know through my obnoxious serial posts – that I went to NYC this past week. And here is why I went. My oldest son, Tariq – and his choir, had the privilege to perform in Carnegie Hall. Now, whether you are into choir or not – I am sure that you know that this is HUGE. Bucket list type of thing. So, there was no way I wasn’t going to go. Just wasn’t gonna happen.
Now let me give you a little back-story. I am not the chaperone-type of mom. Or the “homeroom” mother – type of mom. I love my kids more than anything in this entire planet – which is why I have always stayed away from it. I run a tight ship at my house – and I do recognize that people parent differently than I do. But, I am just gonna be honest here – I think my way is right. (I’m kidding – but I am really kinda not.) I believe in manners. I believe in “Ma’am and Sir”. I believe in having fun – but also knowing how to behave as not to be “bratty”. Smart mouthed kids – overbearing parents, well that is a dangerous mix for me. But, after the begging from my kid – to “Pleeaaassseee chaperone, mommy – IT’S MY SENIOR YEAR!” I couldn’t say no. He never asks for anything – and is a great kid. And let’s be honest – when your kid is a senior in high school – and wants you around – you jump on that.
So, off we went. To New York City. Me and what would would be 74 of my family members by the end of the week. And here are a few things that I learned. And man, I wish I knew this a long time ago.
First, to Dr. Redding and Mr. Yasay (the choir directors) – You have created an amazing bunch of kids. Their manners, the respect, and great attitudes – were a breath of fresh air. I honestly didn’t believe that such a large number of kids could be so well-behaved and respectful. It was beautiful to see the way these kids looked up to you both. The admiration – the love – and the respect. Frankly, gave me hope for the future.
Second, whenever you are faced with a challenge, embrace it. I am private, and a touch reclusive. I was thrown into a situation with a roommate – and I always – and I mean ALWAYS – had people around me. And guess what? They were great. Everyone of them. I made some lifelong friends on this trip – and I never thought that would happen. Ever.
Third, when your kid is passionate about something. Don’t dismiss it. Encourage it. (Unless it is drugs or something horrible, obviously – LOL). I never understood Tariq’s obsession with choir – Choir music – the whole thing – because I chose not to be involved. I will regret that for the rest of my life. But I am so grateful, that at the least, I had this year. I always encouraged him, although I never participated. I went to every concert- but that was about it. I heard stories from a few kids, where their parents don’t get it – and almost “make fun” of them for it. And you could see on their face – that it hurt them. And that, broke my heart. Don’t be that parent. (And… *sidebar — I learned this. I love reggae music – and now – I love choral music. I listened, I learned, and I now can hear the beauty in it. Never thought I’d say that either.)
But fourth, and most importantly – I realized this to be true. There is nothing. And I mean absolutely NOTHING – that you can’t achieve if you set your mind to it. I know it sounds cliche, I get it. And yes, it’s positive, blah blah blah. I never thought it was true. I really didn’t. But I saw it this week. I saw kids – who have worked hard – sing in Carnegie Hall. I saw a man, who had to work hard – conduct in Carnegie Hall – and this wasn’t his first time. I saw actors and actresses in a studio – practicing – to pursue their dream. And here is what I am saying – If you work hard at your passion – success will come to you – I believe that. If you encourage others, don’t have jealousy in your spirit, and pray for the hearts and lives of those around you – it’s amazing what can happen.
So, you all know who you are. My fellow chaperones and students. Thank you. Thanks for making me a better human. Thanks for teaching/forcing me it’s okay to open up – a least some. Thanks for the laughs. All the tears. And giving this momma – and new focus and outlook. I love you guys. And miss you already!
WOHS CHOIR – Wow!