Here is a proposal:
What if we decided to share Thanksgiving Holiday together at my home. After the parade and as we enjoyed our meal, I would suggest we share a talent show.
The performance would come between pie-eating and bed-time. We would have roughly five hours to decide and prepare what we would share with one another. (And if you opt out, you don’t get pie… and I’m a VERY good pie baker.)
I am uncertain what I would share with you in the talent show (pie-baking doesn’t count).
And something within me WANTS to know.
Looking with curiosity, there is a desire to share without apology and embarrassment. I want to play loud and messy and be delighted in who I am and what I bring. I want to pour out generously without worry of mess or judgement.
Our talent show isn’t meant to invite five stressful hours, but five hours of playful expectation – as both performers and watchers.
When you were eight years old, what would you have done for a talent show?
When I think about my 8 yo self, I feel I would have had many more ideas – a puppet show, a play, a dance, a song, a magic trick, some jokes. I would probably change my mind several times and be scheming all afternoon.
It seems that sharing our fun and silly and marvelous talents has gotten more complicated over the years.
What about ‘growing up’ has made it so much harder? When someone says ‘let’s do a talent show’ I want to clap my hands with glee rather than wringing them with immediate doubts. I get giddy even imagining the possibilities of what you could share. What a celebration and joy to play together in our talents and not-so-talents.
What would you do with five hours to prepare and none of the usual props?
Perhaps I should ask for a book of magic tricks for Christmas. I have always wondered what it would be like to do stand up comedy. Maybe I should ask my piano teacher to help me build a repertoire of ‘just in case’ pieces…. Because you never know when someone will ask if you want to do a talent show.
My inner producer gets so LOUD when I think about what I would share with you. Maybe my inner producer needs to be invited to play, rather than direct and judge.
With a few taps of our thumbs we can view some outstandingly creative and talented people. Instead of enjoying and celebrating someone’s excellence, playfulness, or quirkiness, we hold ourselves next to them as a measuring stick.
What becomes available when we walk boldly into feeling silly or shy or clumsy?
What is there when we swap out our adult sophistication and expectation for child-ish play?
What does your 8yo self offer to you today?
And what is your favorite kind of pie? I want to make sure we have it ready for when you share your fun.