I showed up at school early to pick up my daughter (miracle) and I was lucky enough to hide behind a tree on the field and spy on her. It took a while to locate her as a boy’s football game was underway. Then I saw her, red flags attached, blonde hair everywhere, running with the ball. A serious deja vu took me back to 5th grade when I was the only girl on the football team. I was also my father’s Tomboy and only “son” – he called me Charlie. Not because he wished I were a boy, just because that was the nickname we loved. I loved to do everything with him from mechanics, to fixing the cooler on the roof to collecting every team football pencil and chilling on Monday nights to watch the NFL together. I was an athlete, fast and full of confidence because my parents gave me the invaluable, “you can do anything” green light. I wonder today what my mom was thinking when I quit the cheerleading team to join the boys and play football?!?
So I watched my daughter until she spotted me and yelled “Watch This Mom!” I was so so proud of her for having fun, being fearless and being fast.
When we got home I sat her down and played the YouTube video sensation that has over 53 million views – Always#LikeAGirl. I played the opening line which is “Show me what it looks like to run like a girl.” Before I played I the rest, we talked about what that means….Rain’s thoughts were “Super Fast, faster than my brother.” Then I played the video and we talked about the power of believing in you and feeling strong, in many different ways. Rain didn’t understand why people were making fun of girls. And I thought, Thank God! If someone would have asked me as a child to show him or her what it looks like to run like a girl, I would have ran like the wind. I thank my parents for that. Check out the video, it’s powerful.
Then we started talking about Mo’ne Davis, the 13 year old pitching sensation. She’s a lot of things for a lot of children and what an awesome role model. If your kid needs some confidence, show them her cover of Sports Illustrated! It’s not even about gender, she’s the 1st 13 year old to ever be celebrated there. It’s awesome and I can only imagine the conversation going on inside of her and the lessons her family must have shown her. I believe part of being a super talent is the power to believe in oneself enough to discover your own gifts. Being confident and being brave is an awesome lesson to teach our children and take to our own hearts.
Today when I step in front of a live audience to shoot my sitcom scenes for Melissa And Joey, I’m going to remember my Dad preaching to me that I can do anything. It’s probably the most valuable gift he ever gave me. Playing football definitely wasn’t my thing, but it sure was fun trying, and even cooler having parents who let me try everything.