Ira Glass and I do all of my long runs together. It’s just not the same without him. I’m kind of a “This American Life” junkie. I also listen to “Ted Radio Hour” podcasts as well, and occasionally “Dear Sugar” or “The Longest Shortest Time”. I’m pretty sure my friends and family are getting tired of hearing “…oh, I heard on a podcast the other day…” It’s pretty much my only source of news these days.
In any case, I heard on a podcast the other day, a story about a mom being inspired by her son’s coming out. She had been in the closet for years, trying to figure out how to come out to her family. Then her kid comes home from college, outs himself to the family, and she finally gets the courage to speak up. The son doesn’t realize he’s been a role model to his mom–from his point of view she kind of stole his story or capitalized on it as an opportunity to make her coming out easier. But, in the interview, she says what an inspiration he was to her. He’d had no idea.
I’m not gay. As far as I know my none of my kids are (there’s still time to hope). But, I am inspired by my kid’s ambition. He knows what he wants and seeks the shortest route to obtaining it. He doesn’t apologize for being an amateur. He doesn’t make excuses or say he’s not really a photographer because he’s only 13. He’s got a camera, he likes to shoot–so he’s a photographer. I’ve been making art for 20 years and have never publicly displayed any of it (except here). He’s hoping to do an exhibit of his work later this year. He’s the youngest DJ at our new local radio station and runs the controls solo each week. He has always had that drive to learn and to grow. It’s pretty amazing.
This year my New Year’s resolution is to be more like my son. To identify what I want, and to seek it out. Kindly, yes. Patiently, yes. But with no apologies, no hesitation.
Here’s to a year full of ambition. Of seeking what is important to me without doubting my ability. And, to pay attention, to all of the lessons my children have for me. There are so many. These small role models of ours really are the best ones.