Sometimes life presents you with unexpected learning opportunities doesn’t it?
Last Thursday I went with my 12 daughter to see k.d. lang in concert. She needed to write a report for her band class on observations made while seeing a live music performance. We looked around for a local show and stumbled across the listing for k.d. lang’s show. It seemed perfect to me – my daughter could get her report done and I could enjoy some good music.
My daughter’s report had to list the instruments played, comment on sets and costumes. Critique the music itself. She had to watch the mannerisms of the musicians (apparently some of the trumpet players in band move like bobble heads with each breath).
I hoped that there would be another lesson presented to her that night. A lesson of acceptance. In a review of k.d. lang’s singing, The Times of London declared:
It’s a quirk of the music industry that one of the sexiest, most sensual voices in all of pop music comes not from some raven-tressed siren in a glitter-dress but a middle-aged woman with a utility haircut and a penchant for male tailoring.
Exactly. I wanted my daughter to see that talent and success, wisdom and sexuality present themselves in all kinds of packages. Each worthy of her attention. I felt vaguely guilty for “using” k.d.’s concert as a teaching moment rather than just an opportunity to listen to fabulous music but – so be it, off we went.
Turns out there was a better lesson waiting for us that night. As I watched k.d. on stage it struck me that although she gives this very same performance night after night it has not grown dull for her. Her songs soar, her feet skip and she smiles. A smile described in the NY Times as being the size of Montana, forms an invitation for us to join in the fun.
The next morning at work I was reminded that my job as pediatrician has some of the same fun worked into the routine. One 9 month old smiled so continuously and contagiously at me that I had to apologize to his mother for my own grin. An autistic boy with an uncontrollable fit of ticklish giggling while I was examining his belly made me give in to the giggles with him. How lucky k.d. and I are! And, what better lesson than showing my daughter that one’s work should feel at least in part, fun?
Lessons learned? Don’t be a bobble head. Impressive people come in many packages. And careers should be fun. Choose well dear girl!