You Don’t Have to be Fabulous

IMG_0685 I have four fabulous sons.  I have a mostly fabulous husband.  And at some points in my life I too might have been considered fabulous.

Recently I felt fabulous – momentarily – as one of my sons told me of a conversation with a friend of his.  “Your mom is intimidating. She is an impressive writer.” He quickly reassured her,  “Oh, she is not nearly so impressive unedited!”

According to Christmas letters and Facebook pages most all of my friends are fabulous.

Apparently, everyone wants to be fabulous. As I Googled my title for this essay, the only things that came up were articles like “How to be Fabulous in 15 Steps,” “Don’t be Afraid to be Fabulous,” and my favorite “Eat Chocolate and Still be Fabulous.”

Of course, some of us are more fabulous than others.

Friday I was invited to be a “Spotlight Reader” at  Charlotte Park Elementary School as part of a Book ’em reading event.

I took a seat at a small library table and visited with former Ohio State and NFL receiver Chris Sanders.  A lovely dancer with the Nashville Ballet, complete with tutu and point shoes, soon joined us, along with a variety of other professionals identifiable by their uniforms: a veterinarian; a dental hygienist; and a nurse.

bat-in-a-nestMost readers had books representing their professions.  I had Stellaluna, a book about a mother bird, her baby birds, and a lost baby bat that falls into their nest. I selected it for its sweet message of celebrating differences, but it actually reflects my life’s work as well – “nest” building at home, church, and school. Not fabulous, but important.

Soon we moved from library to gymnasium to meet the gathered students.  We took our seats at the front of the room.  Heads turned as Miss Tennessee and Miss Nashville entered the room, impressively gliding across the gym floor in sky-high spiked heels, glittering crowns secured atop perfect blond hair.  A Tennessee Titans cheerleader bounded in, pom-poms shaking.  A pair of Marine Corps officers, resplendent in dress uniform, walked with dignity to their seats.   A few other people dressed as I was in business attire took their places, including our state representative and the director of Metro Schools. The suited businessman seated next to me whispered “Next year I’m coming as an aspiring astronaut.”

Read Me dayAfter a brief program, readers for each class were announced, with students clapping a “drum roll” on their legs to heighten the excitement of the moment.  The ballerina and beauty queens elicited the expected joyous responses from the classes graced with their presence. The Marine Corps officers received a thunderous roar of approval, as they smartly saluted their students.  As I joined my class, after being introduced as a “professional volunteer”, there were no joyous cries.  But, as they were polite children, no groans of disappointment either.

The kids liked me.  They liked my book.  It was an English as a Second Language Class, so the message was spot on.

At the end I asked them if they knew what a “professional volunteer” was.  They were quiet a minute getting their minds around all those syllables.  Finally one boy had that light-bulb-just-came-on-expression that makes working with kids such a joy.   His hand shot up … “Oh, that means you get picked for things, like when the teacher says ‘I need a volunteer.’”volunteer

“That’s right!  It is kind of like I am always getting picked to do things.”

They actually thought that was pretty cool.

And now that I look at it that way, I do too.

This essay is written by Molly Lindsey Powell for the blog In-House Counsel.  To Follow this blog via email, please visit and sign up. You can also visit us on Facebook at


4 thoughts on “You Don’t Have to be Fabulous

  1. OneHotMess

    This is a stunning post. I love the book, Stellaluna, and at one point in my life, I was a professional volunteer. I was able to do more good for more people than than I can do in a year now. I may be underestimating myself, but not by much. -) Thank you!

  2. catfishmom

    Just now reading this Molly…as always, I love your articles. St. Therese of Lisieux was fabulous in my opinion, one of my heroes along with Mr. Rogers. Her message was “do small things with great love.” I don’t know if that is fabulous or not, but it is certainly good.


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