Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Now THIS is a writer!

My son, my fabulous child...

I remember being this idealistic little kid (step with me back in time, allow me this indulgence) growing up in a world too small to contain my greatness. Right up until twelve years of age I was absolutely certain that my talents would shine so brightly that my parents would have no choice but to send me to New York where I would sail through the audition process at the School of Performing Arts. I would study voice by day, and stroll Central Park on the weekends with my artistic classmates. Upon graduation I would land a plumb role in a Broadway musical and by twenty-five I would achieve international fame. I think when I started my freshman year at Bloomington High School North I tasted not reality, but realignment. So I wouldn't study in NYC, but I WOULD be discovered somehow, somewhere, by someone. Maybe they would hear my voice at King's Island being played over the speakers at some recording booth for tourists. Perhaps by chance some big producer would be walking in front of me at the College Mall, catch a snippet of an idle tune escaping me, and offer me a contract on the spot. Later, at 25 years of age, I truly believed I would still be discovered. If ONLY I could get SOMEONE to just HEAR me... I sang in church, I sang outside of church, I attended seminars and wormed my way to the front of the crowd so my voice would rise above the others. At 29 a southern gospel big-wig DID hear me sing. He pulled my music minister aside and remarked that I had talent. At 30 this same man pulled me aside again and whispered in my ear, "Now here is a singer." That same week a producer selected me to showcase a collection of songs for a small audience of 300 folks with dreams just like mine. At 33 I recorded a project. I turn 36 in a few weeks, and that project marked the end of my dreams, not the beginnning. It was not fruition, it was death. With each passing day my talents were thrown out to producers, writers, and recording artists. Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Christ Church, and even Juice Newton passed. I accepted defeat, but inside me is that small child who still likes to think that once upon a time she was someone remarkable.

Flash forward to this evening... I see in my son (all of eleven years of age) something of myself, not as a singer, but as a writer. I remember being his age and thinking how sad it must be for my parents to have to live vicariously through me (not that they did, but I assumed as much.) My mother and father must have had some talent, some gift, that passed them by. They would revel in my success while smiling through the pain of their own lost opportunity. I was a big thinker. My son, my beautiful boy IS a writer. He IS what I thought I was at eleven, and I am what I assumed my parents were when I was their little savant. My son has believed himself to be a creative writer since his second grade teacher told him he was a good story teller. This year he bloomed. He has been writing like a madman. Most kids play video games until their thumbs hurt. My son writes until his hand cramps. This evening I helped him set up a blog and he whipped out his first "published work." Please check it out at and encourage his efforts. Grammar and spelling and punctuation are of little concern when the soul is spilling forth its glory. He simply amazes me, and I realize that IF my parents were what I assumed them to be, then I should NOT have felt sorry for them in the least bit. Since I am now my parents I can clearly see that there is no greater feeling that knowing your children are destined for greatness. So I didn't study in NYC, and the closest to the stage I got was peeking in the backdoor of Broadway theater. I was heard, I was acknowledged, I was rejected. 12 is gone, 25 is gone, and 33 feels like a lifetime ago. But I look forward to 44. That's when my daughter will graduate from Berkley and start her career in forensic anthropology. Sometime before that decade comes to a close, my son will publish his first book. By the time I trade in the homestead for Winnibago, my children will achieve all that I thought I was meant to be. I'm honored that I was chosen to pass on my gifts to those who were destined to reap their benefits.