So today is Throwback Thursday. I don’t usually post something for this, but I was thinking of a story that I don’t think I’ve recorded before, and I figured it was worth doing. If you want more of a reason for this post, sorry, you’re not getting one.
In May of 2006 I was on the tech crew for a group at BYU called the Young Ambassadors. This was my 3rd year in the group and we traveled all around the country and the world with a Broadway review show. In previous years I had toured with the group in Brazil, Argentina, Hong Kong and South Korea. I’d also gone on 6 shorter stateside tours to every state west of the Rockies. This year our longer tour was to the southern states. Someone in the leadership of our group had taken the time to contact the parents of each of the people in our group to ask them to write a letter to their student to be given to us on a day when we might need a little extra encouragement.
When my parents received this assignment they thought it was a little bit funny. After spending full months abroad where I had hardly any contact with them at all, a tour which remained entirely on US soil, where I’d have my cell phone to call or text them whenever I wanted didn’t really seem all that daunting. So they decided instead of writing me a serious letter telling me how much they loved me and were proud of me, they were a little bit snarky with it. I can’t remember everything that they wrote on the note that they included in my envelope, but I remember that the entire message from my dad was “Suck it up princess, walk it off!” They also included a printout of my dad’s favorite “News from Lake Woebegone”. I remember showing this to some of the performers in the group and they were horrified! What kind of parents would write such a thing? Didn’t they know that this was for a day when I was having a hard time and could use some love from my parents?
I on the other hand thought it was brilliant! I don’t think I’d been having a particularly hard day when they gave me that letter, but I definitely wasn’t afterwards. It was something that I knew had come specifically from my family. We can be a little bit snarky sometimes, but I know that my parents love me. So receiving that letter was just a proof that it came from my parents and not someone else’s. It made me happier than if they’d sent a lengthy letter telling me how much they loved me and how proud they were of me. In fact what that letter said to me was, “hey, we love you and are proud of you and think you’re great. But you already know that, and you know we’re here for you for whatever you need. In the meantime, enjoy the inner workings of Garrison Keilor’s mind and some silliness from home.” I don’t think there’s anything better they could have sent me 🙂