When I was eight I played the lead in a musical at my school. Before you scoff and say it’s ballsy to say something like play the lead I will have you know that this school was known for putting on some pretty fantastic productions.

We had to audition and everything! No drawing straws or teachers picking the more high-energy, spirited, they tend to lean toward drama ones. You had to earn a part. The production was a medley of musicals and plays…a musiplay? They had some Singing in the Rain thrown in there with Annie along with plays I can’t recall for the life of me. All of this revolved around the fable, Hansel and Gretel. Weird, right? I wouldn’t think of Hansel and Gretel as musical material, but they pulled it off. It didn’t come off nearly as bizarre as it sounds.

So, I was up for the part of Gretel. It came down to me and another girl. We had to sing for this audition. My grade two teacher who was one tough broad…I was equal parts adoring of her and terrified of her…was handling the auditions. She was feared for her brutal honesty and her no nonsense approach. Her job was to play the piano, scrutinize us, and choose. She was it.

It was my turn. Like the Simon Cowell of American Idol I feared she would blast into me and tell me how terrible I was.


While I was singing she called out to me, “Heidi, keep singing! Louder! Keep going! Come on! Keep singing!”

I was shy. Really shy. And a follower. I was not the cutest or the brightest. I was never chosen first. I blended into everyone else. I made sure I did. And on that particular day I learned I had a voice. It wasn’t the best voice, but I had a voice. I was noticed. I was seen. She saw something that I didn’t see. She saw more. More of me than I knew was there. And while it would take years for me to grow up and gain the kind of confidence I needed to feel secure I’ll never forget where it began. With me using my voice and someone calling out their belief in me.

Swept Up

In Clayburn Village Store & Tea Shop
There is a tea shop in this restored 1912 store in Old Clayburn, Abbotsford that is all kinds of charming and has the best soup you will ever consume. Not to mention the scones with devonshire cream and local raspberry jam that taste like things one would only eat in heaven. They are that good. This is one of my favorite places to go to. Did I mention that it holds rows and rows of chocolate and candy too…rows and rows.

10 thoughts on “more

  1. amisare waswerebeen

    That’s so interesting because I was in a play in junior high and was in a major role. And that class helped me overcome so much of my nervousness and stage fright. Now, I feel pretty confident addressing large groups and being in a teaching role.

    BTW, I loooove scones and cream and jam. I picked up that in London. Sometimes, my friends (that I met in London) and I will still meet for tea and scones.

  2. Kate Coveny Hood

    I have had a similar experience in a play AND separately in having someone actually “tell” me that I am something special and not to forget it. It’s so easy to think that kids disregard what grownups say and lean toward the “you don’t understand” attitude – but every once in a while, your support really can make a difference. And I’m going to remember that when my teenagers are either ignoring me or rolling their eyes behind my back. At some point I’ll have an impact!

  3. thezeninyou

    OMG…I love that story! You have a voice! We all have a voice…it’s just a matter of opening our mouths for the world to hear. I am very inspired by this. Thank you for sharing…

  4. Suz Broughton

    All those little moments make such an impact in our lives. I wonder if the teacher knew that about you? Knew it would be a moment like that for you?

  5. dawn

    it just takes one kind person to make a difference in our lives. what a wonderful story. did you get the part?

  6. Heidi

    amisare, i think maybe every kid should have the experience of being in front of a large group of people.

    there is nothing like scones with cream and jam…how fun that you guys still get together and do that!

    kch, i’m sure this teacher has no idea of the impact she had on me. she was one of my all time favorite teachers. you are so right – just when you think your kids aren’t listening they are. you, kate, WILL have an impact.

    tziy, thank you. when i read your comment i thought of Horton Hears a Who – do you know that story? where every person uses their voice and every voice matters…anyway…i have it in my head now. 🙂

    suz, she probably has no idea. i was one of those kids that couldn’t even ask for help and she wound up helping me in such a profound way.

    dawn, you bet i got that part! i have no photos or anything to show for it now. my parents lost the film. oh, how i love the digital age.

  7. Pam

    I think you may be right that the teacher had no idea. My daughter, at 25 years old, has peers of a similar age, who come up to her when she’s out somewhere, and tell of an instance where my husband or myself as teachers, made a difference to their lives. It makes her proud, but we had no idea at the time.When you want or need to make a big impression as a teacher you often don’t!We just keep on keeping on, and as my husband said this morning, once again he “drags his sorry arse to school”.I have enjoyed visiting here, reading your previous posts.Lovely tea shop!

  8. LMN

    I love those kinds of standout memories of support from someone, perhaps even unexpected. It just shows us that every day we may be making an impact, or at least have an opportunity to, in someone else’s life. What a wonderful gift.

  9. Heidi

    Pam, hello! so you were a teacher then? it’s such an admirable and tough job.

    thank you for visiting! hope to see you again. 🙂

    lmn, i was thinking about that too – how sometimes we have no idea of the lasting impact we might have on someone. i know she certainly did for me.

  10. Isabella Snow

    Wow, I’m now remembering all of the plays I was in as a kid — and how much I hated the music I had to sing, LOL. Nickelodeon? Grease??? I had a teacher like yours in 2nd grade, and I was just as 1/2 and 1/2 about her as you were yours! Funny how they leave an impression for so long.

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