Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Today the babies were watching the PBS show Dragon Tales. I love the part where the children get together and say “I wish, I wish, with all my heart, to fly with dragons, in a land apart.” In today’s episode the kids were trying to teach one of the dragons to play soccer. The dragon whined and whined that he couldn’t do it, so the Puerto Rican kid I had never seen in the show before said, “My grandma used to say ‘You try and try until you do it right.'” Or something along those lines. I don’t know why that simple phrase struck a chord with me. It may be because Juan Martin del Potro was playing the final of the US Open against Roger Federer, the greatest tennis player of all times and I had not much faith he could win. Or because I was feeling overwhelmed with all the things I had to do, and I didn’t have the energy to start. The thing is that it touched my heart.
I’m convinced that the most uplifting examples usually come from children. They still have the perseverance, the optimism to keep trying until they reach their goal, whether it’s sleeping in mammy’s bed, getting a new toy, or making it to the Talento Argentino Finals like this little boy:

Yes, I’m homesick for my country. I’ve been gone far too long, but what I wanted to point out from this video is the emotion, the passion that Nahuel Ruiz puts into his art. I wish I had that talent to put so much emotion in my stories.
Another great example is Hollie Steel, a little girl who auditioned for Britain Got Talent:

No one thought this little girl was out of the ordinary, just like little Nahuel seemed like a normal little boy from northern Argentina. What made them stand out was the strength of their souls, the passion they put into their talent.
I often tell my son, who wants to be a professional soccer player/writer/chef, that some people are born with the gift to perform an art form or a sport. Others are born with the will to develop that talent. I believe that the latter group is the one that truly succeeds. I believe that if you really want something hard enough, it can become true. We, adults, need more reminding than little kids, but we can still do it. I’m just grateful I have four little ones who even though they drain me of my energy, they also give me so much more in return: a desire to learn, to be better, to give them a good example. I hope one day my words may have a fraction of the talent Nahuel or Hollie have. I hope.

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Yamile Saied Mendez

Yamile (sha-MEE-lay) Saied Méndez is a fútbol-obsessed Argentine-American, Picture Book, Middle Grade, and Young Adult author.

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