If the story of my life were made into a movie, other than ticket sales, the big problem would be which genre to classify it as. Living it feels like a comedy but sometimes it veers off into melodrama. Animated short feature wouldn’t work unless Chase was drawing it. Action adventure would be an overstatement because I don’t usually have high-speed car chases on the way too Starbucks. Documentary sounds so boring but at least we’re getting closer.
There are a few other problems besides what kind of film it would be and who would even want to see it. Worse movies have been made, so I suppose a girl can still dream of life on the big screen. It is after all, “Royal Wedding Week” so fantasies abound. People like to say Kate Middleton never imagined herself being queen but we all know that’s not true. Every girl born in England dreams of one day being queen just like every boy born in Texas dreams of being a quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys.
I grew up in Los Angeles where movie making is a big deal. On any given day you could stumble into a film being made in your neighborhood. This is why every year when the Oscars roll around you can’t help but imagine yourself walking down the red carpet. The gowns, shoes, jewels, and hair are as intoxicating to a young lady as a flat screen high-def television is to a man. Who doesn’t want to be part of a picture close-up?
What if your daydreams became a reality and you got there – to the podium? It’s your long awaited day in the sun. The presenters come out and read a list of all the nominees for best picture of the year. Along with the others your name is read and you pretend that you’re slightly embarrassed by the attention. You wait for what seems an eternity before your name is called and then you act shocked. With the clock ticking you compose yourself and walk quickly to the podium where you begin the impossible task of thanking everyone under the sun.
I say impossible because how can you thank everyone that contributed to your success in a few short minutes? People make lists and invariably still forget someone. Poor Hillary Swank forgot to thank her husband and the press had a field day with that. Now they’re divorced and the running joke is that it all goes back to that night. This would make anyone want to swing to the other side of the pendulum and just offer a blanket thank you to everyone. The problem there is that doesn’t work either, unless you are very cleaver and have a great quote or story.
This is good news because I’m not all that clever. If I had to thank everyone that has contributed to any success I’ve had I’d probably forget obvious folks like my parents but remember Mr. Jones the high school librarian. This potential oversight isn’t a silly example either. Last week I had an opportunity to thank a group of awesome kids for the contribution they’ve made to Chase’s life and despite my best intentions I missed one. Not by name but on film. Of course I missed a lot of other people too! A wonderful group of kids has a great group of parent’s behind them – not to mention grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins to boot.
Chase’s lunch buddies are part of a terrific school community that influences their lives also. Many of his friends play on teams of some sort so we’ve got coaches to thank as well. Just this one group of kids is a microcosm for how life works. The fabric of our lives is woven by many people most of which don’t have a starring role even though their part was vital. Nobody ever makes it into even the smallest spotlight without a whole team behind them.
Athletes know this, entertainers know this, and on some level we all know this we just aren’t always mindful of it. We get so busy carrying on with our lives or daydreaming about the future that we forget how we got where we’re at right now. Lost in the shuffle is the teacher, coach, neighbor, or grandparent that’s helped you cross many finish lines. If you had a minute behind the podium you might recall all their names but without that, remembering the folks who’ve earned your gratitude easily slips your mind. It’s sad if you think about it. We shouldn’t wait for a big moment in the sun to remember all the people who have contributed, even in the smallest way to our lives.
So, not because anyone is watching and you’re thanks is expected maybe this week making your podium list would be in order. Think of your life turned into this summer’s blockbuster movie or even a small Indie flick with a limited release. Consider who you would credit and why? Then bridge the gap between your seat and their heart to say thank you. It’s a kindness that will not go unnoticed.
Thank you again to all of Chase’s lunch buddies for making his birthday so memorable for him – including Branden whose smiling face was missed in last week’s picture. Thank you as well to your friends and family both at home, school, and on the teams you play. The care with which all you boys have been loved shows in the way you are caring for others!
May the Lord show kindness to you, as you have shown to…me. (Ruth 1:8 NIV)