Sunday, December 10, 2006

Talking to myself

Tonight was one of the proudest moments I have experienced so far. Hannah and Caleb participated in our Church's musical this evening. Caleb was in the choir and sang with energy and enthusiasm (well when he was not yawning! lol). I love seeing him up there doing something that makes him feel really proud.

Hannah had a speaking part and solo and has been practicing so hard the last few months. She loves to sing and act, but this was her first opportunity to do it on a stage. She said each line well and even continued when a bed she sat on tilted. At the very end of the program, she sang her first ever solo. She was so nervous. I could see her smile was forced as she waited with anxiety till her part came. She saw me watching in the front row and as she began to sing, I saw her struggle to keep a smile. She looked like she was going to cry and so I immediately began singing with her smiling the whole time. It seemed to help a little and so she continued to watch me when her part came. I really had no idea how she was singing and I didn't care. All I could see was my beautiful daughter conquering a fear I struggle with every time I step on stage. I was so proud.

Tonight at 10 pm when i thought she was fast asleep, she called me into her room. We had watched the musical when we got home and she knew that she had not sang her part correctly. It was badly out of tune and the tears I saw during the performance suddenly were understood.

"Mommy, I know I did bad."

Those words made my heart sink to the bottom of my feet. She couldn't sleep because she knew that she had not done her solo right and now she was rerunning it over and over and wishing she could do it again. How does a parent calm such awful words?

I told her that she did beautifully and I was so proud. I told her that no one else knew how it was suppose to go and reminded her that our family had come to see her because they loved her. I asked her to think about the other things she did perfectly. I reminded her about the people, "complete strangers" as she had called them, who came up to her and told her she did a good job. Most of all, I hugged her and told her I loved her.

And then I realized how often I do the same thing to myself. Instead of focusing on what I did right or well, I so many times relive those moments when I could have done better. Or said something different. The truth is we can't ever rewind our lives and "redo" our mistakes. Even though we want to, I think we could never grow unless we learn how to "do it better next time".

I am so proud of Hannah and the hard life lesson she had to learn tonight.
I hate that I can't help her "redo" her mistakes and make it right for her. I know that each time we watch the video she will relive those moments. I pray that she will build in character and I will be there to cheer next time when she finally feels that she succeeded.