“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.”
I watched the Oscars last night and I thought about all of the awards shows that we as writers and artists’ watch throughout the years and all of the acceptance speeches that we hear. It is extremely rare not to hear an actress, actor, writer, director, singer, songwriter, or visual artists’ (graphic or otherwise) thank their parents for allowing them to be who they are and for not only encouraging their gifts but for also enhancing it by being supportive of that talent.
I started thinking about the children whose gifts and talents are not acknowledged, let alone encouraged by their parents. All of the gifts and blessings for the world that are not being realized because there is no one there to tell them that it’s okay to dream and dream big. I was one of those children.
When I watch those awards shows I can’t help but to think of whether I could’ve been one of those artists accepting an award for their brilliant talents if only I had a mother that encouraged or enhanced my gifts, or at the very least, acknowledged that I had any. I know that I’ve mentioned here before that my mother was (to put it in nice terms) not very nurturing. She never really believed in me and to this day it still hurts.
I do feel that when she heard me singing around the house and heard other people who didn’t have to placate me tell her that I was actually good at it, that she perhaps could have invested in some voice lessons, or piano lessons for me. Maybe when I wrote the class poem for my eighth grade graduation and my teachers all told my her that she had a very gifted writer on her hands, she could have put me in writing workshops that they had for children (and they had them, I checked). Or maybe when I sent a poem to a songwriting contest and received a letter saying that they wanted to turn my poem into a song, however, they needed to deal with my mother contractually (because I was still a minor), she could’ve done what she needed to do as my mother to make it into a reality. She could have actually invested in my gifts when I was younger but she didn’t.
While I know that I can not jet off back into time and change what never was, I am left to constantly wonder what could have been. Most days I don’t dwell on it. But on nights like last night when I see people accepting their awards and whose parents clearly believed in them enough for them to get where they are now, I get a little resentful (as much as I hate to admit that) towards my mother.
But that is when I just turn that resentfulness into a persistent desire to make sure that I am different with my daughter. I want to make sure that I encourage her creative talents, enhance her gifts by supporting and investing in them, and empower her to believe that she can do and be whatever it is that she dreams she can be. I want her to know that I believe in her and that I know her future is worth the investment.
If we as parents do not invest in our children’s future where are they supposed to get the idea that their future is worth investing in to begin with. It starts with us and if we see brilliance in our children it is our job and our duty to help them develop and cultivate their gifts. They are our future and we have to make investments, not just in the stock markets and the next big business venture (not that our own careers are not important as well), but we have to invest in them too because their future is worth it. They are our future Grammy, Golden Globe, or even Oscar winners and we have to help them get there. Don’t wait until tomorrow to make an investment in your child’s future, do it today!
The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)
Writing as “Jaycee Durant”