I hear a lot of this. “Our country is going to hell in a hand basket”, “this world is in a sad state of affairs”, “this country is in trouble”. Well I beg to differ…..
I spent a few hours at my 13 year old daughter’s speech tournament yesterday. I’m guessing there was about 400 kids there but I’m not good with numbers so who knows. It was about 10 different middle schools from The Pikes Peak Region competing against each other in categories such as “dramatic solo”, “comedic duo”, “impromptu speaking”, etc. Now let me interject here (as if I needed to) that my daughter gets her “smarts” from my husband. I’m big enough to admit that. I married up in the IQ department. I guess that makes ME smart! But I digress….
I had the opportunity to watch some of the performances of these 13 & 14 year olds and I was blown away. I sat for awhile in the cafeteria (holding pin) and watched them dance to Katy Perry & flirt with each other & be silly & laugh inappropriately. But when it was time to perform in the small rooms with the glazy-eyed judges staring back at them they transformed into little geniuses. They spoke clearly, intelligently, full of emotion and grit. Some of the topics included : the consequences of drunk driving, cancer, drug addiction, being a victim of abuse and suicide. Deep DEEP stuff for 13 & 14 year olds.
When my daughter got up to perform I felt like a 1000 butterflies in my stomach were going to vomit, I chewed my fingernail off and was shaking so hard I looked like a crack addict in withdrawal. I can’t even explain the nerves. And then this remarkable thing happened. She NAILED it. She spoke so clearly & never missed a word of her four page, memorized, emotion- filled monologue. But they all nailed it. They were all remarkable. And I sat there watching them and it hit me….everything is going to be OK.
These kids are ok. They are smart and goofy and apathetic and inquisitive. They listen to Katy Perry and act silly and flirt and text too much and have a bit of an attitude at times. In other words….they are perfectly normal. They are smarter than I was at 13 (and possibly at 41), they are confident, not easily led astray, don’t believe everything they’re told (THANK GOD) and they are our future and I am perfectly ok with that.
I’m aware this was a small segment of pretty smart kiddos. I’m also aware that my other child who is very athletic and funny and wouldn’t be caught dead at a speech tournament and almost assuredly does not know what day it is is going to be OK too.
We are not going to hell in a hand basket. Whew! What a relief. I don’t believe in hell and I’m not sure what a damn hand basket is but that never sounded fun to me.
I’ve never been so filled with pride as when I watch my kids at soccer, football, speech, theater or whatever. Yesterday…I was proud of 400 kids. Everything is going to be OK.
I stopped being able to help my daughter with her homework years ago. And isn’t that the the point.