I've had a house full of film makers for more than a week now. My youngest son John, who turned 19 yesterday, announced when he was 4 years old that he is a director. Not going to be a director someday in the far off future, but that at that moment he is a director. Returning home from Independence Day he asked for the telephone book. Why? we asked. So I can look up Jeff Goldblum and ask him to be in my next movie, was the reply. Duh. I said a prayer, and I proclaimed to my young son, I hope you always have that confidence, that self-assurance. He was not waiting for anyone to place a mantle around his neck that declared him movie director, or wait for a school to hand him a piece of paper with such a claim--- no, he knew and knows himself enough and has since he was a little boy.
So this current project, the filming of a script which John wrote, has grown into quite a community effort. He is the director and an actor in the movie. He has attracted assistant directors (who came complete with fabulous professional equipment) make-up artists, gaffers, special effect makeup artists and what seems like an endless parade of young people coming in and out of every door in the house with their own talent and excitement for the project. My little dog Frankie is almost overwhelmed with all the stimuli.
One of my favorite theories is that young children will let you know who they are before they ever enter a classroom. You just have to pay attention and let them show you. If you don't pay attention when they are really young you may miss the revelation. Too often school wears out the natural talent of a child before they have a chance to develop. That's something I have noticed with my four kids and I bet I can extrapolate that my kids are not so unique, but that every child has a talent or a mission or a way of being in the world that was whispered in his or her ear before they showed up in this life.
Most of us, I think, spend the rest of our lives trying to remember what that whisper told us.