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Here’s a cool thing that happened because sometimes I get stuff right! This weekend I made it a point to discuss with my daughter the ideas behind confidence. It was the topic most brought up to me in my former life as a corporate plebe despite apparent skill at the jobs themselves. Confidence. It followed me around, or at least the lack of it followed me around for a while.

So when my girl asked me about it we dedicated the entire morning to discussing illusive confidence, while painting the ceiling in the bedroom. And don’t be impressed, I would not know what to say except for having gotten expert advice on the subject myself.

I had her list for me ten experiences she is clearly and surely confident about, and we talked about the top five. Apparently she is the go-to girl in the classroom for getting words spelled correctly. It doesn’t matter that it isn’t obvious what one would do with such a skill, or that it is not cool to be good at spelling, the point is that it is a legitimate area in which she feels sure of herself. Maybe Webster will enjoy her abilities some day, or the folks who build Scrabble puzzles, or maybe somehow in the world of writing, who knows. Doesn’t matter today at all. She is fourteen. Getting to know herself is more important than worrying about a job.

So we went through a few of these and established that she knows what it is to feel confident, and we talked about that feeling and how good it is, and what power it has, etc. for a while. I suggested that when the English teacher on Day One of school, says, “You, young lady, tell us about yourself”, she will have something passionate to say because of this conversation. We even practiced answers to that question since that is the issue that spurred this whole thing.

We practiced and talked and painted and laughed and did all the things I’d have given a left arm to do with my mom, some day, that never came in my life.

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