Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Happy Birthday, Happiness

Dear Daughter,

You love to perform.  Last month you had your own song for our local production of Schoolhouse Rock Live which you memorized in one week.  At Christmas time you were in The Urban Nutcracker and never has anyone been so proud of dancing on a blue and yellow-polkadotted bouncing ball.

But the work it takes to get there, to get to the performing, is something you don't love.

You manage the expectation of learning your part with both unrealistic fantasy ("Maybe I'll be the lead!!") and stoic team player attitude.  You accept your role and find something to get excited about ("I am the first person on stage for the second act!!").

Then the dreaded learning of the parts begins.  You squirm in your seat as the cast learns songs ("WHEN do we get ON STAGE?!?") and grumble as the dance sequence is gone over again.  And again.  And again.

But when tech week begins, when costumes are worn, when bright lights are tested, you stand taller, throw your shoulders back and look out into the seats with eager anticipation.  When the shows begin you are both an eager kid goofing with friends backstage and focused performer quietly centering yourself (sometimes doing both within a minute).

This confidence carries through to school, standing up for yourself with your two older brothers, and your playing.

Because when I walk into the kitchen in the middle of you doing an imaginary cooking show you don't recoil from embarrassment that I am seeing this.  You smile, nonchalantly face the "camera" and say "and here is my mom.  Say 'hi', Mom!"

And I say "Hi" to the imaginary camera just as you direct me.

Happy Birthday.
I love you,

Photo by the always wonderful friend
Steven Davey.