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.


At 4:01 PM, Blogger Ms. Right Now said...

Ah, the struggle of being human and fallible.

I often find myself revisiting things in my mind, berating myself for things I did wrong and should have done better, and I often do not let those thoughts go until I have sufficiently scourged myself if that changes anything! lol

It is a hard thing to learn to learn from our mistakes, and then just let it be. It is something I am getting better at as I get older, but I would say it is one of the hardest things for me to do. It seems to be a very common human struggle. I think it is on par with always wanting the thing we can't this instance, the ability to relive a moment and somehow make that moment play out perfectly.

I think the one thing I am learning is that, even if I did have those moments to relive, they would not be relived with perfection. I am, after all, human and flawed.

I think there is a great wisdom in learning to focus on what we do right, and just let go of what we've done wrong. I am to the point in my own life where I am not a big believer in mistakes, and have little room for regret. While there may be things we wish we would have done differently, I do not believe in anything we do being a mistake, because we learn from every experience...perfect or not. Even our "mistakes" have purpose in our lives. Thank God!


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