Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Birthday, Happiness

Dear Daughter,

In New York City last week you were happily chomping on a chocolate chip pancake as a singing server at Ellen's on Broadway started to belt out "Notice Me Horton" from Seussical, the musical you were in earlier this month.  While you were a Bird Girl, you knew just about every other part.  The singer noticed you crooning, came up behind you and stuck the microphone into your face as you finished chewing.

She was clearly expecting you to recoil, to cringe at the thought of singing so publicly in front of strangers eating their breakfast in a Broadway diner.

She had not met you.

You proceeded to sing the rest of the introduction to the song as the wide-eyed server cheered you on.  Other servers noticed and started to clap.

But when you told the story the next day you made it sound like you were reluctant and did not sing very well.  Even though our neighbors were impressed with the story you lowered you shoulders, looked down and acted as if it was not a big deal.

It made me think of a quote by Bobbe Sommer:  

“Having a low opinion of yourself is not ‘modesty’.  It’s self-destruction.  Holding your uniqueness in high regard is not ‘egotism’.  It’s a necessary precondition to happiness and success.”

I told you to be proud of your confidence and talents.  You should not be embarrassed that you like to perform.  You enjoy it and your family enjoys watching you.

Earlier this month a reporter from our local paper was at the first big dress rehearsal for Seussical.  She was interviewing cast members when you charged up to her and said,
“Have you heard of Harper?  Well here I am!”

The reporter could not get enough of you.  I spoke to her a few weeks later and she still thought you were funny, confident and talented.
Which you are.  As you start your 8th year, please stay that way.

Happy birthday.
I love you,