Aaron is halfway through drama camp at Wilma Theater downtown. It's a block from my office so I drop him off and pick him up. It's his third year doing it and he enjoys it immensely.
One time when I picked him up, several counselors took the time to tell me how much they enjoyed Aaron's presence, and gave specific examples of times he showed leadership and initiative. Of course, parents love to hear that their kids are thriving, so this felt good.
It brought to mind two thoughts, which I shared with Aaron on the way back to my office. One was that being a big brother surely has had an effect on him growing up and showing the way for others.
The other was that when I was around his age I was painfully shy. Leadership and initiative were not things I associated with myself. But one year I volunteered through school to sell sodas at the local college football game. We were instructed on what to do and I dutifully did it.
The next week I got another chance to help, and I was the only one who had done it the previous week, so I helped others know what to do. Our chaperone came up to me after and thanked me for showing leadership and initiative.
It was such a foreign concept for me to think about myself in that way that it took awhile for it to sink in. But it did, and I credit that chaperone with helping me to have more confidence in myself to be a leader. And I hope Aaron will feel the same way about himself after hearing it for himself.