Ever notice a child when engaged in play, drawing, dancing or any other activity, doesn’t worry about what others think of them? Their thoughts don’t revolve around limits and believe they can do anything and nothing is impossible.
We were all this way once. At some point, we were told to stop being a child and start being an adult. Others dictated our life and choices. I believe that the magic of childhood still resides deep within us. If we allow it to shine through and embrace it, it can change and improve our lives.
Last week, I baby sat my little nephew for two days. As I observed his creativity, I noticed that he was not bound to any rules we have been taught as an adult. It reminded me of one of my childhood experiences where the freedom in believing nothing is impossible, made a dream come true.
I want to share it with you in hopes of inspiring you to take some time to be childlike again and experience the difference it can make in your life.
I was in the third grade. On one particular day, after recess, when the bell rang, art class and the moment that made waking up on a Monday morning more exciting than Disney World, was about to begin.
I took my seat and started to feel butterflies in my stomach as the art teacher greeted the class, “Good morning kids, today, we will be practicing You Light My Life, the song that our third graders will be performing at the big variety spring show. A few of you will be selected to give the other third graders a chance as well. At the end of the class, your teacher and I will come see you if you have been selected.”
Really Wanting Something
I sang my little heart out! With every verse, my stomach felt like I was on a roller coaster ride, filled with thrill and excitement. I kept making eye contact with both of them to make sure they noticed me.
Art class was over and no one came to see me. We went for lunch and no one came to see me. At the end of the day, I couldn’t understand why no one came to see me. I had poured out my heart and soul in that song. So, I decided I would discreetly ask my teacher, “Miss, did you like the way I sang today?” With a warm, friendly smile, she replied, “Yes, you sang really well.”
Excitement filled my heart again. I grabbed my schoolbag and hurried home.
That night, I gathered my family, called my cousins and friends, “My teacher said I sang really well. I am going to be a part of this big show. You all have to come and see me!” In my mind, I had been selected.
Being Turned Down
A couple weeks went by and, one day after school, two girls ran by me in the hallway. One of them said to the other, “Hurry, we’ll be late for the variety show practice.” My blood ran cold, my heart dropped. The selected ones had been practicing all along. I had not been selected.
Wanting It Badly Enough; Making My Own Rules
As I walked back home, the whole three blocks, all I kept thinking was about everyone who had agreed to come see me perform. “There must have been a misunderstanding,” I thought. “Why would my teacher tell me I sang well if I had not been selected?” So, from that night forward, I practiced singing every night in my room.
You see, I had it all planned. I was going to be a part of that show. I believed it, I wanted it. I envisioned myself on the stage. I would show up that night, go backstage and blend in with the other kids. In my mind, it was that simple. I didn’t stop to analyze it as a problem or that it might not work out. I just imagined and created my own scenario to making it happen.
This is how life is perceived as a kid. They do not believe that they cannot do something. Anything is possible. They create their own way of doing it. They do not rely on any rules for what they can or cannot do.
On the night of the show, as everyone was taking their seats, I told my family and friends that I would join them after my performance.
I walked behind the curtains and casually made my way towards the group that had been selected. I noticed both teachers standing there. They were looking at me, whispering to each other and walking in my direction. I looked away and acted natural like I was supposed to be there.
Not Taking NO for an Answer
“Hi Antonia, it’s really good to see you tonight. Maybe you should get to your seat.” “I am part of the show,” I blurted out. They both went silent. Their mouths wide open in total disbelief. My art teacher said, “Sweetie, there was a lot of hours of practice that went into tonight’s show, you were not at any of them, maybe next time.” You would think this would have made me turn around, go to my seat and cry. I was determined. Without giving it a second thought, I pointed to my teacher and replied, “She told me that I sang really well the day of the try-outs, I practiced every night in my room, and I know all the words by heart!”
She placed her hand on my shoulder and said, “You seem so excited about this. Did you really practice all on your own?” I nodded my head. She smiled and asked me to sing part of the song. After singing the first verse, she asked me to stop.
A Dream Come True
They looked at each other, smiled and nodded their heads in agreement to allow me to be part of the group on stage.
When the MC announced, “Next performance is You Light Up My Life by the third graders,” and I walked up on the stage, there was no need for a spotlight. The glow in my eyes was enough to light up the entire auditorium.
Singing up there and looking out at the crowd, it was just like I had envisioned. My dream comes true.
Today, this reminds me that if I want something bad enough, nothing is impossible.
Do you have your own childhood memory? Let the magic of the child in you shine through. It may Light Up Your Life!