I haven’t written in a few weeks. Life has been busy and full of the gifts of recovery. I am grateful, and I truly feel blessed.
My daughter wants to be in theater. She is almost 8 years old, and she loves to sing and dance and put on plays with her friends. I brought her to her first audition this week, and I was completely blown away with her confidence and how comfortable she seemed in her own skin; even up on that big stage, all alone…singing her little heart out for complete strangers.
It struck me, that I used alcohol for years because I was searching for just an ounce of what she possessed on that stage; self-acceptance. I was envious of her, and so unbelievably proud!
When she left that audition, she was on top of the world. Even she was impressed with her ability to shine under the pressure. Maybe it was because she has led a pretty sheltered life and hasn’t really experienced rejection before, and that gave her the courage to give it her all. Maybe it is just raw talent mixed with a child’s positive view of the world. Maybe she doesn’t fear rejection because she already knows her worth. I pray for the latter.
Well, we got the news last night that she was not cast in the play she auditioned for earlier this week. So my little leading lady has experienced her first real heartbreak in her young life. 💔
The moment I got the phone call, my stomach sank and I could feel my heart break for her. I began the process of trying to decide how I was going to deliver the news.
Should I come right out say it? No, she needs to be prepared.
Should I lie? No! Stop it!
Should I talk smack about the director and the organization to make her feel better about herself? Absolutely not! I will not teach my daughter to be a bully. I need to teach her how to handle disappointments with grace and dignity.
I will tell her the truth, even if my voice shakes. Even if I am crying on the inside, or on the outside for that matter.
So, I paused. Took a deep breath. Gathered my thoughts, and told her.
I sat my daughter down. I told her she didn’t get offered the part. I told her it just wasn’t her time yet. I hugged her while she cried. I told her how proud I was of her; how I am in awe of her courage. I tucked her into the blanket she was nestled into on the couch, kissed her on the forehead and gave her a moment to herself.
I could feel her sadness as I walked away; the stifled sob in her little throat. I worried she would start to think she wasn’t good enough, smart enough, pretty enough. My mind was racing with the relentless worry of a mother.
I then did what I always do when I am feeling overwhelmed…dishes! 🤓
30 minutes later, I heard her tiny footsteps coming up behind me.
Me: “Yes, honey?”
Mads: “When is the next audition?”
Me: “I can look that up for you. Do you want to try again?”
Mads: “Yes, because this was my first audition. So really, it was just practice. Next time, I won’t be as nervous and I will practice more too.”
Me: “I’m so happy to hear you say that! Never give up!”
I may not be able to protect my daughter from all of life’s disappointments, and really…I wouldn’t be teaching her anything about life if I could. What I can do is be present for her every single day. I can be there to celebrate her successes, and I can be there to hold her hand as she walks through the pain of disappointment.
I thank God I am present today; in my daughter’s life and my own.
And she will be OK! Because the world didn’t end last night. The sun rose this morning, and brand new opportunities and challenges await us! ❤️