Starting something new is tough. Starting something big, starting something little, starting a new direction; starting is hard. One of the quotes I’ve heard a lot lately in celebration of Black History Month is from MLK: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Sometimes even when you don’t realize it, you may be starting something. Things falling out of place, things falling into place, shifting the pieces around to make a better fit. It can feel very unnerving, or very – just-right. Or, you might not fully realize it until you’re underway. But once started, you can never go back. Change can be hard, but change can be good.
This weekend, we had two great experiences, going to see Step Afrika at Lehigh on Friday and going to the Lehigh Men’s basketball game on Sunday night. In addition, we totally overhauled two rooms in our house. On the heels of our Adoption Day weekend in Baltimore.
During the completely incredible stepping show, near the end, one of the lead dancers made the message clear. There, in an elite university, in a room of many of the black students on campus, with the leader of the LU Step Team sitting next to my black sons, he said that if there was one thing they wanted everyone to take away, it was to “finish it.” There was an unspoken sense of meaning in that statement. A sense of something larger than just finishing it, something that was almost palpable in how important that is.
I recorded this with my cell; it’s lousy, but you can hear Kyle cheering in the background and to me that’s so wonderful. You can’t hear Owen because he’s on the other side of Kyle with his arm around Latoya, the leader of the LU Step team….heartbreaker.
For this white father of black boys, this is what is means when nine elite black college students start and finish it:
At the end of it all though, starting and finishing is just a moment of time. It’s what comes in between the starting and the finishing that is who we are and what our lives are about. And once you grab on to something, there is a lot of rope to pull through before you reach the end. There is daily work, that takes time and sometimes, lots and lots of energy.
We all know this of course, but it’s the least glamorous, most gritty, gnarly part of going through life. It’s what we do with the laundry, or the cooking, or getting up and going to work (or looking for work)…again. It’s taking the kids to the doctor for yet another cold, or paying another bill, or figuring out what to do this weekend – do we go grocery shopping, clean, make something for dinner, or make an amazing experience.
I believe there is nobody who knows this better than Heather. She makes starting, finishing and pulling rope one single thing that happens every moment of every day. It’s in her constant effort to create, manage, enjoy and make the most of change for everyone she touches that is such a powerful force. It is for our family.
We get so much from it, and it certainly takes a toll on her. But I hope, that this picture is what makes it all worthwhile. Thank you Heather for all you do for our family.