Pass the Duct Tape Please

I was wasting time on Pinterest this week and read the following quote:

“Kid, You’ll Move Mountains!”

It doesn’t look particularly striking, stuck here in Times New Roman font in the middle of a random sentence really does it? I guess it looked better on Pinterest. Everything looks better on Pinterest.

But regardless, it really hit me. It’s the end of the school year and I’m watching all of these extraordinary kiddos put another year behind them. Some dressing up for proms and semi-formals, getting report cards and graduating from all different levels of schools – elementary through to college. They are growing up so fast.

I’m reading these four little words and I’m thinking to myself, ‘I wish I could duct tape this quote to every kiddo in my life and sign it “Love Karrie-Ann”.

I can’t wait to see what they all will become in life. Where they will go. How they will change the world. What their passion with be. I can see glimpses of that now in so many of them. But will they follow it? Will they find the courage? What will that ‘x’ factor be that encourages them to keep pursuing their dreams? What will that ‘y’ factor be that holds them back? What, and who, will influence them, make them more confident, be more resilient? What will help them move those mountains? One thing is for sure … it won’t be one big thing … it will be a lot of little things.

It’s so easy to wonder these things about our ‘own’ kiddos isn’t it? I think mothers spend 92% of their time pondering these questions and searching for the answers for their families.

And it’s so natural to say this phrase to our ‘own’ children isn’t it? Personally I’m pretty sure I have not only duct-taped this saying to Megan and Mark, but have done so in such a fashion that there is no white-space left for them to peek their little eyes out thru. “KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!!” “Ya ya Mom. We know, we know. Enough with the mountain thing already. You believe in us – we got it. Pass the potatoes please.”

But I sit and wonder this morning how good of a job I am doing at conveying this to other kiddos in my life? Other kiddos who I care so much for and who are going to do remarkable things in this world. I want THEM to know how much I see in them, how much I believe in them. I want to be part of that ‘x’ factor in THEIR lives … because I think to make it in this life it takes so many more people to believe in us than the people who share our DNA … so many more than the people who are “supposed to”… whose job it is.

I don’t necessarily think we do this very well in western society – be supportive in both a vocal and purposeful way with other people’s children. Particularly in situations where it is not “required”. If we are in a profession or volunteer opportunity, such as a teacher or a coach, where it is expected of us – and that affords us that direct opportunity as part of our “work” – then yes, I would argue we often are.

But most of us are not in those situations. Most of us are trudging along through life doing the best we can to take care of our own. It is of course human nature. Instinct. And sometimes it’s all we can give just to do that. Take care of our own. Life is, after all, exhausting as a parent!

But you know what? It doesn’t take much. It doesn’t have to take much to go outside our own family circle. And I want to put that into practice more. Because I think it’s the little things that count – the seemingly little things in life that are the ‘x’ factors. And also – the things that happen now. Now as they are in elementary school. As they are in middle school. As they are in high school. This is the foundation. The small kindnesses that we are both purposeful and vocal about. – showing them – telling them – they have incredible gifts, characteristics and talent that are so uniquely “them”.

“Kid, You’ll Move Mountains!”

Because I tell you … I can’t wait to see if they will! I can’t wait to see if Ricky becomes a successful entrepreneur opening up his own custom repair shop. Or if Jane becomes a chef running her own restaurant. Or if George becomes a film producer. I can SEE it in them all plain as day. Their dreams, their potential. Even though it’s not well defined yet, it’s sitting there – right at the surface. Waiting.

I hope some small acts I’ve done in the past – and some acts I will make sure I do in the future – can be some small drop in that incredible swell of a river their parents and caregivers have created to help them sail along to their dreams. A hug, a kind word, time spent purposefully together, a home they feel comfortable coming to, an inside joke, a card I’ve written for them, an invitation to do something unexpected and fun, a surprise token to show I’m thinking of them. I hope these things have and will make a difference. I know my kiddos have been lucky enough to have a couple of key people in their lives who have made a difference for them. People who have specifically taken an interest in what they have accomplished, or what they are passionate about. Who have gone out of their way to ask them about their life in a meaningful way and engage them in a way that says “you matter”.

Do they all see it’s not just their parents or blood relatives or teachers or coaches who believe in them? That there are in fact dozens of people rooting for them and their dreams?

I hope so.

I hope I can be a drop in that water – in that swell their parents have spent so much time creating. I want to work harder to be – with real and thoughtful actions – however small they may seem.

But for now – for this morning – I have some other work to do.

Time to line them all up. And pass the duct tape please.


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