Leading with love

Dear President Trump,

Many of us are well conditioned not to brag about or even mention our own accomplishments and it is also unseemly if we get too carried away talking about our children’s, so it feels a little dicey to tell you about what our daughter’s coach said about her on Saturday. It came after nearly an hour spent talking with the lovely parents of the team’s superstar who was recruited by a dozen of the strongest crew programs in the country. It came after we were both exhausted from the strain of staying nice and polite and appearing interested in this other girl’s wonders and her family’s good fortunes, especially since her parents really are nice people and weren’t being overtly braggy. It came in on top of the unspoken sadness we were each carrying privately about our son’s long-ago death. It came at the perfect time.

Our daughter and one of her best friends are co-captains of their crew team this year and as it turns out, neither of them is in the varsity boat this spring. We were getting ready to leave the party and were busily trying to scoot our tart pan bottom out from under the cheesecake we brought when the girls’ coach came over to talk with us for a few minutes. He told us that our daughter has done a fantastic job being captain this year. He said that she and the other co-captain have gotten past their disappointment and have brought really solid leadership to the JV team and it’s starting to show. And then he said the nicest thing we could have ever hoped to hear, he said our daughter brings out the best in everyone, that she is the type of leader who is looking to help everyone be their very best selves and to bring it to the team effort. I’m tearing up as I write this. It was such a gift.

The three of us went out for dinner for Mother’s Day last night and we shared what her coach said with our daughter. She was so moved. It was like we’d opened a little box and the most precious gift was nestled inside. That was the second part of the wonder for us, that she was so pleased to have her coach notice this and that she really, truly loves leading in this way.

May we all be safe to lead and follow in life affirming ways.
May we be happy when other people shine.
May we be healthy enough to be happy when other people shine.
May we choose leaders who want the best for everyone, who see us all as precious, irreplaceable works of art.

Tracy Simpson

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