Letting Kids Be Kids

Hey y’all! Thanks for joining me here today. It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but someone reminded me of this beautiful story the other day, so I wanted to share it with you. 

I was playing for an adoption benefit, and Emmylou, who had just turned 3, kept asking if she could come sing a song on stage with me. I felt nervous about this for her, so we walked her through when and where she would come on stage to sing. We had a little stool set up in front of a mic for her and the plan was for her to sing the first song of the night with me. As I was introducing her and getting her all set on the stool, she leaned up to the mic and said, “Actually mom, I’m gonna drum.” My heart started beating REALLY fast. This is not what we had planned... I was both a mom and an artist performing, and I had NO idea how to handle the situation. 

This was not going to be the sweet moment I pictured in my mind where people saw that my daughter knows my songs and sings them with a lot of heart. I wanted to correct her and say, "No, baby...this isn't what we planned. You need to stick with what we said we were going to do." But it was too late. She had already climbed down from her stool. She had seen a smaller step stool as she was walking on stage, went to grab it, carried it behind the drums, and my precious drummer, Elizabeth Chan, handed her some soft mallets.

So I introduced the song. “Well, this isn’t what we planned, but here comes Emmylou’s debut on the drums as we play my song, “Broken Beautiful.” I could barely get through the song because I could NOT stop laughing! My drummer kept perfect rhythm as my 3 year old girl enthusiastically HAMMERED on the drums alongside her. When we finished the song, she came back around to the front of the stage and grabbed my hand for a bow!

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I was so glad that I didn’t have time to let the “make sure your children look perfect because they are a reflection on you” tendencies in my heart stop her. I loved seeing her independence and confidence. I loved that we delivered a very imperfect performance of my song "Broken Beautiful”. How fitting. And I especially loved that a whole crowd of people got to see me let my little girl literally march to the beat of her own drum. Ever since that night, she’s referred to herself as “a drummer”, and I’ve stopped to think twice before I try to stop my kids from simply being themselves.