Morning Edition on NPR has been featuring prodigies this week. There is nothing like listening to a 12 year old compose an on-the-spot song to provide a large dose of humility. This girl, Emily Bear, began writing songs when she was three, preformed her first, solo concert at Rivinia in Illinois when she was only five, and has performed at the White House and Carnegie Hall.
The ‘Little Angels’ song she referred to in the overhear was one of the ones she performed at Rivinia. To hear it, link here to the NPR story and audio recording of the broadcast.
When I was four I was excited to finally figure out how to draw the number ‘six’. I followed my older (five year old) sister everywhere, and would drink out of a cup with my tongue sticking part way out. Still, my mother was always convinced- and still is- of my greatness.
This, of course is one of the jobs of motherhood, to see beyond the inability to tie shoe laces, or eat with a fork and celebrate the potential inside. I have been thinking a lot about friendships lately. What makes a good one. How to be a good friend. I have wondered if shared interests (like running or writing) is the cornerstone to a solid relationship of any sort. But, while I imagine that shared interests are a natural bridge between people, what I really enjoy about my friendships are our differences. I love the moment when I discover one of these hidden talents or gems about a friend. When our relationship has gotten close enough for me to see that, in their own way, they are a prodigy of some form.
The mother in the NPR piece goes on to explain that they dislike the word prodigy. That at least for Emily, her talent has been more organic than the word prodigy implies. Organic is a lovely way to think about the parts of my friends (and myself) that are unique and graceful.
And I use that term, graceful, very specifically. Because I honestly believe each of us is given some very special gifts in life and it is our job to discover and share them. How do we know what these gifts are… they are the organic parts of us that seem so natural we don’t even recognize them. And it is only when a friend (or mom) celebrates the talent that we become aware of it.
The trouble, unless of course we’ve been asked to perform at the White House, is in believing people when they give us compliments about our talents. But next time someone says something about my creativity, or my planning, or even the way I wash dishes, I am going to say a little prayer of thanks for the wonderful gifts I have been given.
Are you known for a special talent that you otherwise take for granted? Do you see things in your child(ren) that others perhaps miss? I love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment and let me know.
And, to prove how much I love hearing from you I will be giving away a copy of my book, UNTANGLING THE KNOT, to one lucky commenter in October. Leave a comment for any of my blog posts and at the end of each month I
will randomly select one visitor/commenter to receive a free download of my book. (Note: winner will be notified by a reply linked to their original comment…. Check back at the end of the month for directions on how to claim your prize!)
September is now over; thanks to everyone for your fun comments. I have chosen the winner of BETTING JESSICA from the names of those who commented during the month. Congratulations JENNY HANSEN. Please send me and email at dwilstedauthor (at) outlook (dot) com and let me know where I can send your digital copy:>)