I have always loved surprising people with experiences that most believe are only for the movies or were meant to stay in dreams. Whether it's a surprise party with guests flown in from out of town or convincing the kids to camp in the backyard on a school night to admire a full moon...I'm always looking to create someone's next best experience.
But sometimes, as I learned this week, it's ok to just be. Yesterday was my son's fourteenth birthday. For days, I've been asking him how he'd like to spend it --- just to get a clue for me to use to create something magical. Is it tickets to the Nats game? A geo-caching adventure? But he wouldn't budge...until yesterday. He got home from school and I asked again. This time he had an answer. He said, "Mom, I just want to be here with you and my brothers. I want to play basketball and sit outside. I want to have dinner and watch TV before bed."
Alas, the boy is taller than me and wiser. I share this with you because we all get caught up in our work and life and over-achievers, like the lot of us, take it to another level. When people ask about why the Learning Leaders Conference is different, my answer is that we just want to be here with each other to talk about what we do and figure out how we can do it better. We want to have dinner together and we want to listen to music -- maybe even sing. We just want to be.
While it would be so great to have you join us in September, I hope for today you can just be.