You have to dream before your dreams can come true. – A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Emily just finished playing the lead role of Rose in the musical Dogfight. At 16, my daughter was simply wonderful.
Yep, I’m a proud parent, which is one reason why I’m saying she was incredible. Also, five consecutive sold-out shows is another indicator of her strong performance, and the amazing performances of the entire cast.
The music is energetic, fun and at times, emotional. It was a gift to observe the audience watch my daughter sing. I could tell they were all rooting for Rose as she pursued her dream of becoming a songwriter while opening her vulnerable heart to love. As the show moved to the finale, the song Give Way touched me most.
The first night I heard Emily sing Give Way I ignored the tears. I didn’t wipe them away because I didn’t want to do anything that would erase the feelings I was experiencing.
No doubt the tears came because my daughter was singing so beautifully. The tears also arrived because the song touched something in me that hasn’t seen the light of day in a while – my dreams.
A spring and summer song too brief
the steady turn of a fallen leaf.
And just before the winter storm, off to somewhere safe and warm.
Sparrow, Sparrow to afraid to fly
Sparrow, Sparrow to proud to try
And he’s oh so far from home
Seeing the Signs
For me, spring is over and summer’s last day is politely lingering, but it will be over soon. Autumn is almost here. I can already see the signs of change. Knowing that winter arrives after the last leaf falls gives me a sense of urgency to give way and stop being afraid to fly.
I want to give way to:
- God’s plan for my life.
- Finding a way to love myself like others love me.
- Forgiving my mistakes.
- Being happy without even trying.
- Resting in the truth that I have many good days left.
- Getting out of my own way so my dreams can soar again.
The Child Taught the Parent
As Emily sang, I saw myself as the Sparrow. I understood the bird’s fear. Sometimes I get so caught up with managing life that I forget to let my spirit soar. Pride keeps my dreams on the ground because I don’t want to fail. So, I stay stuck in what feels comfortable as the seasons continue on.
But in that theater, and on that night, the child taught the parent.
Emily was giving way as she faced her fear and soared. Even though there’s still plenty of time left in her Spring, Emily has faced challenges I wish she had never seen. Instead of retreating, my daughter has found the way to keep her dreams alive.
In that theater, and on that night, my daughter inspired me to get back to writing. Emily Grace reminded me that no matter how ugly life can be, you can’t give up on what’s burning inside of you.
It’s time to give way, too – give way to fear so I can get back to my dreams before winter arrives.