Being a Fan Isn’t Easy

It was a time when women did not have jobs, let alone become published authors. Not respectable women anyway. And yet there Jane Austen’s father was, the first person to submit her writings to a publisher. “As I am well aware of what consequence it is that a work of this sort should make its first appearance under a respectable name I apply to you,” he wrote to the well-known publisher Cadell, according to Claire Tomalin’s book, Jane Austen: A Life.

Being a fan of your kids is not just rooting for them at the occasional soccer game. It’s not just telling them they’re special. It’s also putting yourself out there, taking risks for them. It’s being willing to defy conventions, to encourage them to defy conventions if they feel their calling demands it.

You tried your whole life to raise a kid who was comfortable with themselves, who was confident, who was competent, who could be successful. When your efforts begin to bear fruit,  real challenges will spout up alongside. As they push the boundaries of their comfort zone, they may well push you out of yours. But that’s good! That’s what we want!

We have to believe in our kids. To be their fan. To be willing to risk with and for them. If we don’t believe in our kids, who will? Why would they be brave enough to put themselves out there, to try new things, if their own parents aren’t even backing them up when it matters most?

Be a real fan. It’s not easy, but where would the world be if great parents had always taken the easy route?

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