Many years ago, before he learned to walk, a young young boy refused to crawl. His mother tried to teach him. Concerned people, after all, had promised her that if he did not learn to crawl he was sure to have learning disabilities. As often as she could, she set him carefully down on the floor on hands and knees. She tried to show him how his arms and legs could move. But like a Weeble he had to be upright. No sooner than she had him properly arranged, he would right himself and scoot across the room on his rear, propelled by one leg and one arm, face pure joy and open, upright to the world where it belonged. She finally resigned herself. He might just have to have a learning disability.
But he didn’t. And he did learn to crawl—soon after he got comfortable walking. It was no big deal, at all.
Over and over she saw this about him—when the idea was his, he was pure motivation and energy. But only if the idea was his. She was not sure this was how things were supposed to go, but the truth was they weren’t going to go, any other way. She learned to be a planter of ideas (and a setter of rules) and she tried to remember to step back for the rest. This was anything but a graceful dance. But when she remembered—
She found herself sitting today on someone else’s couch, listening to her boy rehearse with his accompanist for the upcoming contest this weekend. Pretty much every step of this singing thing has been his initiative. She thought about these things, wondering at it all. This boy—