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Reel Mama: Sing stupid

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sing stupid

Who knew that Stephen Colbert is into musical theater?  He has performed in a filmed version of Stephen Sondheim’s Company that will be shown in theaters this weekend.  Also a little known fact is that he is classically trained in theater and music.  His favorite voice teacher told him to “feel more and think less” during a performance.  After all the lessons and all the theory they had discussed together, her advice for him was to forget everything she had taught him and just sing from the heart when he went onstage.  In other words, to “sing stupid.”  Following his instincts in the spotlight would enable him to give the best possible performance.

I think this is great advice when it comes to parenting.  When I became a new mom, I felt that I needed to reinvent the wheel.  I was afraid to trust my instincts, and I felt that I had to weigh every opinion in every book, message board, and yes, even blog, not to mention advice from friends, relatives, and even strangers on the street. 

When it comes to “performing” as a parent, there’s something to be said for keeping it simple and trusting our instincts.  In those most challenging moments, what I really needed to do was to “sing stupid,” to forget all that reading and who said what based on whatever theory, and just do what came naturally to me as a mommy.  This is in our DNA.  We don’t need to memorize an encyclopedia to be great moms and dads. 

I think that every day, there are moments when we follow our instincts as parents, and this is when we are at our best.  So tonight, after the kiddies are in bed, turn on Stephen Colbert, and give yourself a pat on the back.  Today you probably sang stupid.  You were great without even trying, and you didn’t even know it.  


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