Monday, August 1, 2011

We Learn From Our Kids

Last week, I dropped my ten year old daughter, Grace, off at her first day of intensive drama camp at Clear Space Theater in Rehoboth. At the end of the week, they would be performing a shortened version of the musical, Annie. Talk about drama - you would have thought I was sending her off to college! As I looked around at the group of kids, I worried. Many of them appeared to know each other already, and my daughter didn't know a single soul. Many of them seemed familiar with the instructors, and my daughter didn't. Many of them had jazz shoes on, and my daughter had on regular, clunky sneakers. My trepidation increased. I was afraid to leave her; I fought back tears. But my daughter was unafraid. In fact, she was excited. She was getting to do what she loves and she didn't care about not knowing anyone or not having the right shoes. I was in awe of her and slightly miffed as she pushed me out the door. Her bravery and leadership that day blew me away. 

My daughter's confidence is one of her greatest strengths. Going in to that first day at camp, she was convinced she was going to get the part of Annie. She does have a beautiful singing voice, but I didn't want her to be disappointed, so I told her she probably wouldn't get the part of Annie, but that she would get some other good part. (As I look back now, it reminds me of something that a friend said about parents squelching their children's dreams -  did I do that? I hope not. I was just trying to protect her.) She auditioned for a solo - she got up in front of the four instructors and the other kids, and she sang - by herself. How brave! I never could have done that. She amazes me! Grace didn't get the part of Annie, but she did get a solo part, and she was thrilled.

When I picked Grace up at the end of that first day, I watched the rehearsal for a few minutes. My son looked at me and we both had the same thought - How are these kids ever going to get it together to have a performance in three days? My trepidation grew... 

Each day, the rehearsals got better, and my daughter got more and more excited. She was having the time of her life, doing what she loves to do, and doing it well. She is truly inspired by singing, and it shows every time she gets up in front of our entire swim team to sing the National Anthem a capella! (I know, right?!) As I drove home from Rehoboth each day, I thought about my child, and what an amazing person she is -courage, commitment, inspiration - she possesses the characteristics of a truly great leader. (How did that happen?!)

On Friday, with all of her grandparents and family in tow, we arrived to see Grace and the other students perform Annie. It was nothing short of miraculous! The performance was awesome! What those instructors and kids were able to do in four and a half days was amazing. It was project management at its best, and it wouldn't have been a success if every participant hadn't played their part. I can only assume that my child's inspiration and commitment to her craft were consistent throughout the group - otherwise there would have been no way they could have achieved their goal of a professional, award-worthy performance. (Don't forget, I am a mom!)

Fortunately, my child is strong and resilient and committed, and she was able to fend off all of the insecurity and doubt that I threw at her throughout the week. 

It is true what they say - that our children are so much better than we will ever be!

By: Guest Blogger, Jen Scott 

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