My daughter tried out for the talent show yesterday.
I'm amazed that she would do this. Amazed. Last year, she didn't receive even one vote from her class for her dance routine. (It was freestylin' to "Accidentally in Love"--the worm, the spins on your bottom--I'll spare you the details because she would want me to.)
And this year has been heartbreak. The mean girls! The fickle crowd! When she told me she planned to audition in front of her class, I wanted to scream: "Are you crazy, foolish child? Will you cast yourself to the lions? Let's preserve what little reputation you have left! You will be devoured and humiliated! Stay safe in my arms! You've endured enough!" I knew she'd be competing against a kid with magic tricks and a girl with years of elite gymnastics training.
She had no chance.
But she really wanted to audition. So there I am, preparing mentally all day for her sure failure. I'm visualizing my parking space, closest to the school, so I can pick her up in my arms and carry her to the car so nobody can see her tears. I'm imagining a special comforting dessert that will await her homecoming. What helps a child recover from. . . losing?
She walks out of the school building, and I can hardly face her. She calmly approaches me with a little folded piece of paper. She doesn't say anything but just points to the note. I unfold it and she's written in yellow marker: "I won the vote. Yay!"
Oh, me of little faith.
As we drive home, she tells me about the other acts and how nobody was that good. But when she performed her piano act (after dragging the class to the auditorium just so they could hear her 1 minute of music), everybody started cheering. They voted for her. The hands went up in the air!
What world is this where things go well for her? Did God hear my prayer, her music teacher's prayer, and all my frantic text message prayer requests to please pray for my daughter today?
I think so.
"How did it feel? Did you feel just great?" I asked her, beaming but definitely trying to hide my proud parent, over-the-top enthusiasm.
"It was awesome." She paused and looked out the window.
"But my fame ended by lunch time. People forget you."
She changed the subject and told me to look back to see her amazing ceramic turtle she made in art class. We were on to new adventures, new topics--art, her summer reading plan, and what computer games she wanted to play.
Whatever it was that allowed her to walk down that hallway to the auditorium, her little chin up, it's another thing I'm putting on my version of her resume. Right next to "Survived Recess," I'm putting, "Auditioned in Front of Hostile 2nd Grade Crowd to Win Spot in School Talent Show Despite Totally Bombing Last Year's Dance Routine."
And I might add: "Learned that Fame Ends By Lunchtime so Don't Bother Wanting it So Badly"
That girl has flair. I would have never had the guts to do what she did.
And God answered an even better prayer than my superficial "grant her success." He showed my daughter that winning the love of the crowd doesn't last. And it shouldn't. There are much better adventures awaiting.