When I was younger, I wasn’t afraid of very much. I often found myself on stage dancing freestyle to the intermission music in plays and Christmas programs. I wanted to dance, and was encouraged and allowed by my parents to express myself. As a mother now, I wonder if my parents ever had moments of concern or embarrassment. They never showed it. But still….
Sidekick 1 wanted to do the County Fair Talent show. She has talked about it all year, but when I asked her to practice or prepare she flat-out refused. She insisted she would be fine.
Thinking of the event, the many spectators, and the idea of my daughter not winning a ribbon stuck in my mind. Would she be embarrassed if she was the only one not prepared, would I? Would she be upset if she didn’t win a ribbon and the other kids did? Finally I tried to encourage her to back out of the competition and proceed with life as normal. (not my proudest mom moment) This stubborn sidekick of mine again refused. Instead she gave me what I wanted and danced in the basement the entire time to the song that she had selected. “Hey Mickey.” She’s darling. So I did what any mother would do and tailored her costume, helped her get it just how she wanted it to be and told her I was proud and that she was amazing!
I still worried, would the crowd get to her? Would she be sad if she didn’t win?
The night of the talent show this sweet and spicy little sidekick of mine took the stage. Smile on her face, eye contact with the crowd and a consistent flow of movement and shakes all across the stage. My cup of pride ran over. I was so incredibly proud of my brave little lady. Oh, how I love her and need her energy in my life.
The best part-she was so proud too. I may be biased, I may think there is a little favoritism in the judging but my four-year old little girl had more stage presence and confidence than any child that took the stage that night. Her routine was not choreographed, but she looked at the audience, not a teacher…and she smiled. She didn’t win. She noticed that others got ribbons and their pictures taken and that she did not. This made her sad. It made me sad. I know that children need to learn that they won’t always win, but I sure wanted my little sidekick to win this one (and everyone). She then looked at the participation certificate in her hand and said, “but I got the gold star.” I replied, “you sure did, and it says shining star and that’s the best of the best.”
She’s proud of herself. She doesn’t feel embarrassed with her own choreography. She just loves to dance, loves to perform, and loves herself. The audience loved her. I was so proud. I don’t know if I could do it anymore, I wonder if I could ever get that confidence and lack of caring for the looks that others might give me back. The very thought scares me. I wonder, exactly when do we lose that spark in life? When do the looks add up?
Anyone want to do a talent show next year? Let’s take our confidence back!