Have you ever met a person you just . . . didn't particularly like. For no good reason. Someone who just bugged you from the start, even though they weren't any more annoying or obnoxious than anyone else you know.
I hate to admit this, but I have a few of these.
And once that is in my head, it's really hard for me to change my opinion of that person. It's a fault, and I know it. I'm working on it, but still, it happens. Way more often than I'd like to admit. But every once in awhile, it happens. Someone I didn't like changes my mind. But never so profoundly.
There is a performer I've worked with for three years now. Let's call him "D". When I met D, he was still a young teenager. His hair was long and in his eyes, even though he was auditioning. He was just a little too cocky for my taste. But, he was a talented actor, and he got the part.
It's terrible, but I never took the opportunity to get to know D. I didn't particularly want to, truth be told. Yes, that makes me a bad person, but it's the truth.
And then, when I least expected it - and most needed it - D said something to entirely change my mind.
He told me I was a good mother. That he wished he had a mother like me.
I cried. And I hugged him. Because at that moment, I totally didn't feel like a good mother. I felt like a failure. I was struggling. I was at a place where I didn't know how to be a good mother to a child who has always been . . . a bit of a challenge. I was feeling very fragile, and weak, and insecure.
And in a few short moments, all of that melted away. Because of the words of a person I had never taken the effort to get to know. If I am a failure, it is not because of my abilities of a mother. It is because I refused to give a young man a chance. A young man who has needed something that I may have been able to give him. I can only hope that it's not too late for me to forge a relationship with him.