I want to believe that the work that I have chosen to do is making a difference. I want to believe it so much, this wish turned up in a lyrics of one of my originals called "Believe". There are glimpses that it is true, but never more clear to me than now, as this pandemic is seemingly finding an end. People are gathering again. Families are attending events specially made for young children again. I have the advantage of witnessing joyful moments happening right in front of me again. The joy a toddler feels when they stop and with their legs sturdy to the ground and spread the width of their shoulders, they start to bounce. They may just stare for a moment at me, without a blink, stop in their tracks and start dancing. The room may be loud with chatter of folks enjoying the event, there may be kiddos of all shapes and sizes everywhere around dancing, cuddling with family, talking, jumping, trying to get the attention of their grown-up, but no matter what, I can count on a toddler with the same stance, bouncing and enjoying something they recognize. Music! They can feel the beat, they can see my guitar, they can hear my voice and they stop as if to say "Hey! I know this, I know what to do, let's bounce!" I love every aspect of that moment. And in that moment, I feel I am making a difference.
When the pandemic first came to town, I was fearful that I would not be able to experience that moment again. I thought for a fleeting, terrifying moment that the perch in which I witness such complete, simple joy would not be able to happen again. I created this position I have put myself into out of love of many things. I love to perform, I love to sing, I love to write songs, I love to understand young children and watch them thrive, I love to see parents, grandparents caregivers and teachers facilitate and share in that joyful moment. So I built a business all based on things I love. I have been blessed to share this business with countless toddlers and older kiddos for 25 years.
25 YEARS that blows my mind! Gratitude is not a big enough feeling, joyfulness is not a deep enough feeling, unbelievable is more accurate as to how I feel. When folks come up to me and thank me for doing those Facebook Live shows I did when the shutdown was happening, I am struck by "unbelievable" that so many were watching that I didn't realize at the moment. When folks who are now grandparents proudly bring their grandchildren to the same shows they brought their children too when they were young. I am struck by "unbelievable" that they remember me from so long ago. When a child who is offered a chance to learn more about music remembers going to see The Music Lady and remembers how much they enjoyed it and decides to study music more, I am struck by "I think I am on to something here". I am honored to be able to continue this work. Thank all of you for welcoming me to do so.