Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Taking the Stage

I was a shy child. So shy, with no confidence whatsoever. Unless I was in an extremely comfortable situation, I was so quiet. I rarely raised my hand in class because I was afraid I'd give a wrong answer and then I'd be embarrassed. More than just about anything I loathed having attention focused on me. When it was my turn in gym class, I literally wanted to die. Oral reports made me sick to my stomach. Even just having to sit at my desk and read aloud had my palms sweating.

Considering my own background, it never ceases to amaze me that my girls are so gutsy.  They sing, they dance, they are loud and they don't care who is watching. Like legions of other kids, Bethany plays on a basketball team. I would have never dared to dream of doing something so public and out there. She also works on her in-school television station which broadcasts for the viewing pleasure of 500+ students and staff every morning. I think I would have rather gone to the doctor to get a shot every day for all of fifth grade. Bethany and Lucy get up on a stage and dance in front of hundreds of people with hardly a second thought, and I have no doubt Mattie will do the same when she starts dance lessons. I realize that millions of little girls do the same thing at dance recitals across the world every year, and that many might not find this remarkable, but I can't imagine doing something like that when I was a child.

Last year Bethany and her friend sang in their school talent show, and although they were nervous they did not falter. Today Bethany and Lucy, along with a friend, tried out for this year's talent show. They are working on a dance routine together and bravely got up in front of the judges and many of their classmates to try out. Whether they get in or not, I am so proud of their courage and effort. I am so happy they are willing to put themselves out there and take a chance. I know they will be terribly disappointed if they don't make it, but I truly believe they have kicked butt just for trying, and I hope they give themselves some credit for that. I am also proud of Bethany for being so kind and patient with Lucy as she teaches her the dance steps and counsels her that she did a great job, no matter what the outcome. This will be the only year they attend the same school, so it's really special that they've been working on this together.

I didn't know Chris until high school, and by that time he was a musician and lead singer in a band. When he was younger I think he was shy kind of like I was, but I'm glad he came out of his shell and has been able to teach our kids by example to be fearless, and to risk failure, exposure, and criticism to do something you love. For now Connor is more like me, but I know there is plenty of time for him to become more like his dad. And of course I hope my girls never lose their courage, and that it only grows into more confidence the older they get.

1 comment:

Tina Marie said...

Very sweet! I am proud of the girls too.