My brother, Jeff, was not only cool ‘cause he was my big brother but he had focus and found his passion when he was barely 13. I envied that characteristic and very early on I hoped to share that trait; no such luck.
Jeff was a typical American kid growing up in the late 70’s playing little league, video games, rode skateboards and motorcycles but his true love was music. He introduced me to Queen, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder and so many more amazing musicians. Although, I never understood how he could sit in his room, for hours, listening to records while I was outside fluttering from activity to activity.
During Jeff’s bar mitzvah training, we learned he was very musically inclined. He had a great voice, taught himself to play the piano and later he taught himself to play a right-handed guitar so it was easier to use other people’s guitars. How many left-handed 13-year-olds do you know that would take on that challenge?
Then there was me, the kid sister who struggled merely to focus on one piano lesson a week. I did, however, manage to play Hava Nagila at his celebration; the last time I ever played. I was good at everything but not great at any one thing. I probably could have been, had something truly held my interest. I wasn’t so enamored by Jeff’s talents, per se, but rather his ability to focus and his passion for one thing.
My daughter, Delicious D, shares that same focus and passion as my brother. However, her passion is twofold. Every year, she sang in her elementary school’s musical theatre program and in 4th grade she played “Annie” in the musical. “Annie, Jr.” This year she was accepted into a middle school Performing Arts Academy.
Also, like her dad and me, she is very athletic and displays an insatiable appetite for soccer. Her dad, originally from Canada, was a hockey player and me, well; I was a gymnast, dancer, Jr. Olympian roller skater, competitive ice skater and baton twirler. I also ran track, played soccer and of course I sang in my brother’s band, only, he fired me when his drummer became my focus. Shocking?
Delicious D began playing AYSO soccer when she was 6 years old. When she was 9, she played competitively. During this last tournament season, the attention she commanded on the field by club coaches was flattering and overwhelming, to say the least. She was invited to try out for a handful of clubs from as far away as Palmdale and Orange County to Agoura Hills and Santa Monica.
Now, playing on her first club team, she practices two days a week, trains privately on a third day and plays Futsal (a variant of soccer played on a much smaller pitch, indoors on a basketball type court) with boys twice her age and size, for a fourth day of practice. She plans on playing soccer for Notre Dame High School and hopes to get a scholarship into college. She also dreams of playing for the Women’s National Team and in the Olympics. She’s 10 years young and has her life mapped out as I sit at this d*mn computer still wondering what I’m going to be, when I grow up.
Recently, Delicious D asked me what my dream was when I was her age. G-U-L-P. Thank G-d I was driving and didn’t have to look into those incredible big warm eyes to tell her I didn’t have one. Then, last night, she asked me again and while I searched my heart for an honest answer, albeit, circling around the truth, she held my face wiith her litlle hands the same way I hold hers.
“Mommy, it’s ok if you didn’t have a dream like I do and y’know what, you did find something you’re great at, you’re my Mom!”
Her depth and insight is both a blessing and a curse…
Focus is a daily struggle for me and while I aspire to be more like my daughter and my big brother, I can’t deny that anything fills me like the love I have for my Delicious D. Perhaps, I have grown up to find my passion found me.