Today I had the pleasure of speaking to about sixty second-graders. IT WAS AWESOME. I gave my talk about how being different is awesome and how each of them is awesome in their own way. I showed one video (the jumping rope one) during my presentation and they liked it so much they basically begged to see more after the Q&A time…so we watched a couple more (including the basketball one where they clapped every time I made a basket)! I also juggled a couple of my LOH stress relief cubes and then, at the suggestion of my beautiful wife, had a couple volunteers try it. Then I gave them each a cube for their efforts.
Let me tell you a couple of my favorite parts and then wrap-up with a more serious thought.
My favorite question was from a little girl who asked, “Do you like Downton Abbey?” I wanted to shout, “FREE BATES!” but instead just told her that was an AMAZING question.
Then this exchange happened between me and another little girl:
“When I was little, I used to tell other kids that a shark bit it off,” I said.
A little girl’s hand shoots up and I call on her.
“My grandma got bit by a shark once,” she said.
“What? For real?”
“Where does she live?”
“And…was she ok?”
“Well, I mean, she’s still alive.”
I don’t know if any of what she told me is true, but I love it.
Another young lady asked, “How did you get married?”
“Well, there was this girl…” I started.
When they asked my favorite character from a book, I said Ender Wiggin and some of the kids were SO happy with that answer. One of them goes, “So, I assume Minecraft is your favorite video game then.” That kid ruled.
So, as you can see, we had a wonderful time. Besides the laughs, the kids also had some insightful things to say. They seemed to embrace the idea that our differences make us awesome, too, which was cool to be a part of.
And here’s the deal…I was hesitant to write this post because it felt a little overdramatic. I mean, am I going to write about every time I speak? Trust me, I’m not. But, this was only the second time I had the opportunity to stand in front of students who were not my own kids. And it confirmed that I need, and want, to do more of it. More of this standing-in-front-of business. Because really, that’s all it takes for these kids. They got to hangout with me, a guy with one hand, and see that there’s more to a person than just their difference. They got to see a guy with a difference doing things they do, too. They got to ask questions. They got to laugh and feel comfortable.
And while I’m not challenging them to overcome insurmountable odds, I think trying to help them see their value is just as important.
And just as awesome.