It would be safe to say that I lack even the most basic understanding of football. However, I believe that tonight, even if I understood what a carry and a curl and a cover were (I found these terms here, fyi), I still would have been impressed.
I was babysitting and we decided to play flag football. Drew, who is six and who I would be comfortable calling the next Tiger or Oudin (major prodigy potential), knew so much about football. He was trying, patiently, to teach Tessa and I the rules of the game. After he legitimately scored on us - a team of two - three times, Tessa and I got a little competitive. It was zero to 21.
So, Drew kicked us the ball, which Tessa caught and threw down the yard to me, and I scored. However, although I still don't understand why, Drew explained that we weren't allowed to pass it yet.
Tessa, four years his senior, said, "Drew, I really think we can..."
Drew replied, "No, Tess, not in high school, not in college, not in pros."
And then he let us redo it, like a true gentleman.
However, after hearing him spout off the terminology and rules and plays, I started thinking about how much easier it is for kids to learn new things.
Everyone always talks about the importance of learning a language at a young age, but it's applicable to everything.
Part of me thinks it's just because their spongey brains have a lot more space to absorb it all.
However, another part of me thinks it's because they're so excited to learn something new and passion is an essential tool for successful learning.
Drew didn't memorize plays because his coach or his dad told him he had to, he just loves football.
It's also because they have no fear of failing. If Drew forgets something when he's playing, no team is counting on him or expecting to live up to what he did the game before.
It must be such a happy way to learn. You learn it because you love it and you've not yet started to put the pressure of perfectionism on yourself.
And although sports and passion are too often miles apart, Tavi Gevinson boasts the same strengths. She's a much talked about blogger who was invited to multiple shows during Fashion Week last month. She was given front row seats and treated as a very important critic. She's also 13.
...And she knows so much.
But it's what she loves. It's all she wants to do. It's not her job. Her career doesn't depend upon it. No one expected her to be incredible. And she is.
And with the signature short hair and oversized glasses, it seems Tavi has already begun channeling Anna Wintour. But if someone were kind enough to say I had the skills to be the next Anna Wintour, I think I'd dress the part too. Let's just hope there's no Devil Where's Prada for her. Meryl Streep might not be able to do a thirteen year old.