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On (Potential) Greatness

October 14, 2010

When I was expecting my first baby, I had no idea what she would look or be like. Then when she was born, I at least knew her face—long eyelashes, big brown eyes, perfection. As she started to grow into a child with thoughts and ideas of her own, I began to get a fuller idea of who she is. And every day she is more amazing.

Recently I went to see my best friend’s cousins perform with their band. It was a relatively large venue, opening for a very big act, and the whole family was there to support them and celebrate this big step in their career. After the show, we all went out to a late dinner, and the fellas’ mom—a warm and wonderful woman about the same age as my own mom—commented to me that one of the girls who had come to the show – an acquaintance who had happened to come with us to see the headlining act—had looked at her like she was completely crazy for all of her excitement and enthusiasm during the performance. My immediate response was to think that she was the crazy one for not understanding how amazing this was. And before I could even think through my thought, I said out loud, “Someday she’ll be a mother, and her children will accomplish great things, and then she’ll get it.”

And that’s when I realized that I, in fact, got it. I was thinking from the perspective of a parent. And not just about everyday tedium like how many diapers, snacks, changes of clothes and sippy cups I should pack for an outing lasting x amount of time. I was thinking of the bigger picture, of the future, of the long-term responsibilites and rewards of being a parent. I thought about how this woman and her husband had raised these three young men, taught them how to be gentlemen, supported them in their passions and pursuits, and helped them to know who they were as they made their way in the world. And now here they were, fully grown and experiencing professional and personal success. How could it NOT also be her success, then? Why wouldn’t she be ecstatic and proud?

We can’t all be parents to rock stars, naturally. But it’s amazing and a bit overwhelming to think about our kids’ potential. Whether for quantifiable greatness, or [just] wealth of character (‘just’?!), they have the potential to be somebody. And everyday, they are becoming (and somehow already are) that person.

That is, for sure, a thing to enjoy.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Tomas Palomo permalink
    October 19, 2010 3:36 pm

    I am trully impressed with your ability to write, descriptive yet full of content and thoughtfulness.

    I am definitely the proud parent here, and will act crazy as appropriate …. GO TANYA !!!!!!! YEEEEAAAAHHHHH,

    Dad

  2. November 2, 2010 12:21 pm

    I can’t relate to this post at all (not being, or ever being a mother), but I can’t wait to try and attain that sense of pride and passion. Great post.

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