Talent is The Pursuit of a Goal . . .

I am "good" at a handful of things. I can talk my way in and out of most situations. I can tell a joke with relatively effective timing. I can give blood every 60 days. I can read to Ava to great and regular applause. I cook better than the average bear.  I earned a ton of merit badges showing general aptitude at various disciplines, etc. One thing I was NOT overly "good" at but really enjoyed and pursued was music.

I loved to sing and play my flute. I was in choir, had roles in musicals, sang at church for the Christmas Season, was in concert, parade, and field band, and I even tried to perform various solos along the way. With the exception of a rousing piccolo during Stars and Stripes Forever, it never really panned out. I guess I  sang better than I played but, even then, I was far more a support player than a leader or stand-out. But that didn't stop people (including my lunatic, overly supportive parents) from thinking I was "talented." But I think what they really meant was that I was dedicated.

I went to the Wichita Symphony Orchestra's Youth Orchestras concert yesterday. Three groups of young people came out on a professional stage and played extremely well. I was very, very impressed. As a collective, they were very talented. As individuals they were obviously all extremely dedicated to their music and their skills.

I see "kids" differently now than I did before becoming a parent. I got genuinely misty as the various ensembles took the stage and parents would wave to their kids or eagerly snap photos. These parents beamed at the pursuits of their children often looking right past their own role in supporting their son(s) and/or daughter(s), driving them to/from lessons, filling their heads with great music that is anything but "cool" or "popular" among the teen set.

Talent is nothing more than the pursuit of a goal. To be talented takes focus, dedication, some good luck, and a lot of support and encouragement. And bow rosin - in some situations.