Being brave isn’t always the absence of fear – more often, it is just putting one foot in front of the other and doing what is right in front of you, even when you are terrified.
I found the essay below on the back of the rough draft of the paper that was actually supposed to be showcased at my third grade daughter’s school’s open house. It was too good not to share.
by Kristen Henricks, Age 8
“Once upon a time, I was in a play. I was in a play, and I got the lead part. I was in a play, I got the lead part, and I had 20 really, really long lines. Now that, my friends, is scary.
That day came lightning quick – Play Day. One by one, we got pictures. One by one, we got our costumes on. One by one, we got on stage. It was my turn. A grown up was behind me.
“I don’t wanna…” I told her.
The lady gave me a small push. Soon, I was on stage. I froze. My feet didn’t move. My eyes didn’t move. But I had to do it.
“Go-…Good morning everybody. I’m your host, Ryanna Oceancrest. Please welcome our contestants.”
This wasn’t too bad. Then I had another line.
“This is the Queen of Hearts.”
Yes! Yes! This was fine! Fun! More lines! More, more lines! Excellent! I was feeling brave.”
I had no idea her experience being in a play last year impacted Kristen so much. What a great reminder that there is so much more going on in our children’s hearts and minds that we are always aware of!
Even more, what a great reminder of what it means to take life one step at a time, or in this case, one line at a time.
You really can live moment to moment, resting in the knowledge that all those other future moments will somehow work themselves out. Maybe they won’t be as bad as you fear they will be. Maybe when you get there, somehow you’ll have a new set of skills that will equip you to deal with them. Or maybe, like Kristen did in her play, you’ll all of a sudden realize you’re in the middle of doing something you were scared to death of moments before and that, not only is it not so bad, it’s actually quite terrific. Excellent!