Last night, like every night, I was laying with Kennedy before she (and I) fell asleep. She lifted her little head off the pillow and looked right at me. Her breathe smelled like starbursts, not toothpaste. She said that she told a joke to a girl in her class. Then that girl told the joke to the rest of the class and everyone laughed and thought that other girl was really funny. She threw her head back on the pillow and cried. I had a flash back to last week when one of my coworkers shared an idea in a meeting, that actually came from my mouth in another meeting the week before. And then I remembered another time when my husband and I debated about where a the idea for a kitchen island originated: from his thoughts or mine.
In an attempt to be wise and comforting, I said “I understand that feeling. Sometimes people use my ideas without asking. But honey, there is so much funny in this world; there is plenty of funny to go around. You came up with that joke, and she shared it because she didn’t have any jokes of her own. Sometimes people aren’t funny. And it’s so cool that you can come up with jokes all on your own because you were just born that way. You’ll always be funny.”
She was quiet for a minute, thinking. While she was thinking, I braced myself. And then, with disgust, she said “Mom, you just don’t get it. Everyone can do everything. It’s not like some people aren’t funny and I’m the only funny one. Everyone is funny. Everyone can dance. Everyone can sing. Just because people aren’t good at it, doesn’t mean they can’t do it. You just don’t get it.”
If she hadn’t been crying, she would have said “BOOM.” Another life lesson handed to me by my seven year old.
I will accept this lesson from her, and add it to the little library within myself, on the confidence shelf. I will release my ownership of ideas, and accept that they originate cosmically and just pass right through me. I will see myself and others as messengers, delivering thoughts and ideas (and sometimes jokes), and I will allow this to inspire me. I want to see myself as a dancer, a singer and a joke teller. I want to see myself the way Kennedy sees everyone, with access to everything the world has to offer.
When I'm starring at a blank piece of paper with a story to tell, and I doubt myself, I will remember that a story is asking to move through me. When I'm at my table with paint, brushes and I doubt myself, I will remember that some emotions want an art expression.
And I'll write and make art anyway.
Today I declare:
I am a blogger
I am funny
I am sensitive
I am a writer
I am an artist