Monday, March 26, 2018

Go Confidently

{a very confident kindergarten randi}

One of the greatest gifts we can give our kids is confidence. When we believe we can do anything...we can!  I grew up believing I could do whatever I set my mind to. I was taught I could achieve greatness. {Sometimes I may have had too much when I sang at a Chamber of Commerce Christmas party - when I'm not a singer and volunteered to play the piano for a church meeting when all I knew was the love theme from Romeo and Juliet}. 

So far, I seem to be successful in instilling this in my two little darlings. They do not seem to be lacking in the self esteem department. Randi has been sure of herself since day one. {Just look at this kindergarten picture. That is a self assured smile if I've ever seen one}! First day of preschool she gave me a hug and a wave and said "see ya later" while I stood there with tears rolling down my cheeks. Cade, however, cried almost every day I left him and would still rather stay home with me than go to school, but he can have a full on conversation with any sales clerk, bartender {yes, bartender}, administrator, coach, etc. He doesn't hesitate to ask if he is looking for something or needs some information. A few weeks ago, his school administrator called me and said he had Cade in his office because Cade was wondering what class he could take in replace of Spanish. Although it was mid-semester, he said he could indeed switch at the last quarter. Drama and Robotics were the only options available, so Cade decided to stick with Spanish, but he took it upon himself to assess the situation and see what his options were. It would have never dawned on him that he couldn't do that or they would tell him no.

Sometimes, I make my kids do things they would rather not do. Sometimes they have to speak in public and approach situations they are uncomfortable with, but they do it and feel stronger because of it. "It's going to make you a better person", I tell them. {I'm quite sure there have been lots of eye rolls and words under their breaths}.

They are both leaders and I hope they continue to grow in that direction. 
"Be a leader not a follower".

Cade sometimes will get down on his baseball team saying, "we are going to lose. The other team is better." I simply reply, "you're right. If that is how you are thinking - that is how you will play". {He doesn't appreciate my attitude. At all}. But. Positive thinking is crucial! I even use it while teaching. I'm always telling my class {as they have been sprinting in cycle for two minutes straight at a high gear with winded lungs and aching muscles} "you are awesome! you are strong!" {I'm sure some of them mumble a few words under their breaths too}!!

I've been thinking so much about our youth today and the bravery and confidence it takes to stand up for what they believe in. The marches for their lives over this past weekend {gun violence} were some of the biggest in history. Some of those youth spoke to gigantic crowds. Some of them are meeting with their elected officials. A lot of them are making a difference and they couldn't do it without a little confidence in their back pockets. I would be shaking in my boots if I were one of the NRA loving politicians. These kids are going to be voting in coming years, months, days. They have confidence and they don't like what they see. They will bring the change this country so desperately needs.

As my kids get older and begin new chapters in their lives, I hope {with every fiber of my soul} that I have given them the confidence to go after their dreams, the bravery to try new things and fight their fights, and the tools to make smart choices. 

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams." - Thoreau