Posts Tagged ‘commitment’

…so begins the chorus of Pink’s song, “Who Knew,” which my sixteen-year-old daughter, Abby sang last night in Lexington High School’s (LHS) spring a capella jam.  I love the song, and I love that Abby is part of an a capella group (there are six at LHS).   Ben and I were in a capella groups in our colleges, and we know that the camaraderie that develops, not to mention musicality, is powerful and rich.  We’re glad that Abby is having a chance to experience this as well.

But if someone had said three years ago that Abby would be up there singing this solo, I would have doubted them.  The fact that she did it, and did it beautifully, is a tribute to her and the community in which we exist, giving credence to the African proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child.”

Abby was an extraordinarily outgoing small child.  She was known for walking up to complete strangers and kissing them on the knee, or starting up a conversation.  When we would travel, she would work the room at a restaurant, moving from table to table, chatting.  It was charming and engaging.

Like many kids, I suppose, she learned as she grew that one should not always be so fearless.  She became unsure of herself, painfully shy, afraid to take risks for fear of criticism or failure.  She also knew that she didn’t want to live life afraid, and so she committed to confront her insecurities.  With the support of those around her, breakthroughs occurred, sometimes small, sometimes huge.  She loved music, and in her freshman year in high school, she dug deep for the courage to audition for an a capella group.  She didn’t get in, but she worked like mad and tried again as her sophomore year began. Lo and behold, two groups wanted her.  She was over the moon, and chose the one she thought was the best fit.  Synchronistically,, the group’s called “Euphoria.”

Abby’s worked and worked on her singing, on having the courage to try out for a solo, on forming relationships with her co-singers.  And last night, there she was, singing the solo in “Who Knew.”  But there’s more to the story, more that makes me celebrate and want to shout to the heavens with gladness.  It turns out that the cause of the hoarseness and difficulty hitting some notes which she has experienced over the last several months is a cyst on her left vocal cord.  It’s treatable, but the diagnosis couldn’t have come at a worse time, right before the concert.  With the help of medical  professionals and again, a terrific circle of community and friends, Abby decided she wanted to go for it and not miss this opportunity.  Her a capella group worked out an arrangement of the song that included a harmony part, with another singer adding in the high notes and Abby staying on the melody.  The arrangement worked.  Beautifully.  Most of all, she had the guts and commitment to get up there and make it happen.

If someone had said three years ago that I’d be watching this girl stand in front of 600 or so people and sing a solo, I would have told them they were wrong.  And it’s a triumph.  Who knew?


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