Don’t Just Sing in the Shower... Take a Step onto the Stage!


By Courtney McCarville

As a teacher for many years, daily emails came flooding in. When is the field trip money due? Your teacher observation is next week, please send me your lesson. How can I encourage my child to play with others? Can we set up a time to discuss Johnny’s reading scores? Among many others. If I didn’t answer emails right away, they were easily left for days later. I rarely received junk mail on my teacher account, so to see an email from UNL (University of Nebraska at Lincoln) somewhat concerned me, or at least made me wonder before opening it with one eye open (especially since I didn’t attend that particular college).

Is it time to renew my certificate? What do they need? Is this even important? I chose to open and read the email. To my surprise, it was an email from the Athletic Department. They weren’t looking for my basketball skills, but rather an opportunity to audition for singing the National Anthem for Nebraska Cornhusker sporting events. My initial thought was, “YES! This sounds fun.”

And then I read on…….”to audition, you will need to sing in front of 8 judges in center court of the Bob Devaney Sports Center”. Yikes! I was not feeling brave at this moment. I actually considered just deleting the email like I never received it. Surely, I was going to be one of the older people there. I had to ponder this. What if I forgot the words? Could I do this?

Yes, I could, and I did. Why? Because if I want my 2 and then eventually it became 3, and now 4 children to be brave, then I, myself, had to be brave. I wanted them to witness me stepping out of my comfort zone of singing in the car, shower, Saturday morning cleaning, at a wedding, or in church and going for the “big show”.

Now, when standing in the dugout of a Nebraska baseball game, or courtside next to Tom Izzo, Tim Miles, and Pat Chambers, I still get butterflies.  But, when I look out and find my family, stepping onto that field or court is an act of honor and bravery.

Communicating to twenty-six first graders or my oldest three children (9, 6, and 4), how to be courageous, brave, and stand up for what they know is right can be a challenge. Every child is different and special in their very own way. So, what works for one, may not work for another. It’s also very natural for us to want to protect our children when we really need to challenge them to try new things or do things they might fear.

One idea to communicate bravery that carried over from the classroom to home, is to role play. We like to play around with different scenarios involving potential acts of bravery and courage. This can include reaching out to that child who is sitting alone in the lunch room.  We talk about the beauty of befriending the child who is on the outside looking in. Another fun idea for promoting courage is trying new food! Doing these different activities with our kids has really helped them learn to push beyond their comfort zone to experience something new.

Here’s to taking a step outside your own comfort zone to show your kids your willingness to push yourself beyond your own fears. Be their hero. Don’t just sing in the shower...step out onto the stage.



Author Headshots4.jpg


Courtney McCarville is an active wife and mother to four young children ages 9, 6, 4, and 17 months. She is a new stay at home mom, Direct Sales Leader, and previously taught elementary school for 12 years in the Cornhusker State!

Steven Markel