Today was one of those days when, as a mom, your heart just breaks for your kid. I mean, it hurts. Like someone is stabbing you in the middle of your chest with a really rusty old fork that still has sharp teeth. My daughter is a beautiful person, inside and out. An old soul. She is very conscious of other people's feelings, as responsible as an eight-year-old can be (actually, she might match up well with some of my 18- to 22-year-old students), intelligent, articulate - you name it. Life also usually goes her way. Things click into place. But not today.
This beautiful girl got about 20 seconds from the end of her solo this afternoon, started doing the wrong steps, and crumpled. She's never forgotten a dance on stage in her short life. She's always on point. Focused. Forgetting the lines isn't in her script. So when she lost her place, she lost her way. And rushed off the stage in tears.
Sometimes, forgetting the lines is an important step to becoming a stronger person. I realize she can't see this now. She's 8, and she thinks this is the worst day of her entire life. It just might be. But what I've learned, some 25 odd years older, is that when you fall off of your horse, you have to get back on said horse and kick that horse's ass. All. over. the. place.
And she did. About 15 minutes later she stepped back on the stage and danced her heart out. She didn't win a prize. She didn't place. But what she won was a hard-fought victory against losing her self-confidence. Learning the value of hard work and the importance of being humble doesn't happen when you win, much of the time. Failing helps you figure out that you need to work harder and to never let ANYONE see you sweat. Ever.
So, tonight, I raise a glass to my girl. Because in her not winning a trophy she made me prouder than ever. ~Alice