I watched you from my seat in the second row of the right side of the auditorium. Your eyes scanned the room, row by row panning left and right, left and right. Hands in your pockets, you stood tall and attentive, fully aware your third grade performance would begin at any moment. You had the notes, lyrics, moves memorized as you had been practicing for weeks in the comfort of your own home. Though, now you looked a bit nervous, standing on the stage, in the spotlight, anxiously searching the audience. You had told me to sit on the right side of the auditorium so I would have a good view of you. Today, on the drive over, we even reviewed left and right a few times to ensure I would be in the right seat.
As you searched the eager faces in the room, I knew we had gotten our right and left mixed up. The more your big brown eyes sought mine, the tighter my heart squeezed. I tried to catch your attention even waving my hand in the air but you were focused on the other half of the room. I stood and waved once more and it was then your eyes locked with mine, and as your little body visibly relaxed you nodded your curly head ever so slightly in my direction.
I sat back and watched you shine on that stage much like you do in our living room every night and throughout your performance I thought of all the things I want you to know as the world becomes your stage.
1. I will always be here for you, even when you can no longer see me. You will never be alone.
2. When life’s spotlight shines too bright, blinding you from what’s really important, I will help you see it.
3. And, when that same light dims eventually leaving you in moments of darkness, I will be your guiding light.
4. There will be times when our signals will get crossed and lead to misunderstanding. Know that we will communicate and straighten things out and even through disagreements I will never stop loving you.
5. Enjoy your successes, the big and the small. Those that seem insignificant are often the ones that will fill your heart with joy when you look back on them.
6. When the spotlight is on you, remember that all eyes are on you too. Use that opportunity for good.
7. Never take life so seriously that you exit the stage completely. There’s always room for creativity, imagination, and those things that make you laugh.
8. I will always be your biggest fan – in your brightest moments as well as your darkest.
9. Don’t ever pretend to be someone you aren’t simply to please others. Who you are behind the scenes is better than anyone you could ever pretend to be.
10. Live your life in such a way that you will exit the stage with dignity when the final curtain comes down.