Saturday, April 30, 2011

Guitars, Courage, and Being Carol Brady

The 8 y.o. auditioned for his first Talent Show yesterday!  He has been playing the electric guitar for almost a year now (a year at the end of June).  He LOVES it. We don't have to beg him to practice, he does it on his own.  He took interest in it thanks to my dad who first got my boys into The Beatles way before Beatles Rockband.  Yup my boys LOVE The Beatles and it is funny and cute to hear them belt out Beatles tunes.

So we got the 8 y.o. taking guitar lessons and has since done two recitals.  The last recital he did awesome playing "Eye of the Tiger," but sadly and kinda painfully bombed on "Star Spangled Banner."  He admitted after his recital that he didn't practice his "Star Spangled Banner" solo as much.  I think the experience left him a bit horrified about performing up there for people.  We were disappointed about his decision at first to not audition for the Talent Show - something he had looked forward to until that recital.

So how do you teach a kid that hey, that's how life is, sometimes you make mistakes or you end up not doing your best, so try your best again next time?  We're the type of parents who like to encourage our kids in their passions, but we don't push too hard that it will destroy their passion.  It's such a delicate and fine line.

It's funny that it took a lesson about my running and a birthday party to finally convince the 8 y.o. to try out for the Talent Show anyway.  At the last minute, the first 2 boys RSVP'd to a birthday party.  The 8 y.o. didn't want to go at first - he didn't think he knew a lot of the kids there, but he went ahead to the party and came back to report what a great time he had and "Man, Mom, I'm so glad I took the chance to go to this party because I had the best time and 2 of my classmates were there!"

Somehow I managed to slip a "Brady Bunch" moment where the parents and kids discuss the lesson learned for the day at the end, without making it too obvious and cheesy for my 8 y.o.  Our conversation went like this:

Me:  "You know, sometimes you never know unless you try.  It's scary at first but once you do it, most of the time it's not so bad!  You know, it's kinda like that audition you want to do....."  (Silence.  Oh-oh.  Crap)

8 y.o.:  "Yeah, I should just do it.  I really wanted to do it but messing up at the recital scared me."

Me:  "It's like when I run those races.  I don't know why but I'm always scared that I won't have enough energy to finish the race or I won't beat my fastest time.  But I try anyway and I make sure I "practice" running a lot so I can finish it."

8 y.o.:  "You want to beat Dad in a race?"

Me:  "Umm, no, (that would never happen, I say to myself), I want to beat my best and fastest time - sometimes that's hard, but I will never know unless I try, right?"

8 y.o.:  "That's true."
Me:  "What would happen if you don't audition for the talent show?"
8 y.o.:  "I'm going to wonder if I could have made it..."
Me:  "Yeah, that's called regret."
8 y.o.:  "Ok, I don't want to regret.  I want to do it."
I think I deserve a little Mother of the Day award for that one, don't you think?  It's so challenging to talk to my 8 y.o. sometimes, and I have to remind myself to keep things short or else I lose him, and I'm sure I start to sound like the school teacher from The Peanuts cartoon.

So yesterday we packed up his electric guitar and amp and got in line at the school to audition.  I think he was nervous but I couldn't tell.  He practiced everyday for almost 2 weeks perfecting his Jimi Hendrix style "Star Spangled Banner" solo - yup, the same song he messed up on at his recital, he decided to prove to himself that he could do it, if not better.  I am so proud of him for toughing it out and conquering his fear.  He knew that as long as he practiced hard, whatever happens on audition day will be his best and we're proud of him regardless.

He came out of the audition room with a big smile!  I couldn't be any happier for him. 

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