That song, over and over and over again. From the depths of the house, the same song or two or three, over and over and over again. If you are a parent of child who has been in a theater performance or any type of choral group I believe you can relate. At first it’s exciting as they start to rehearse for their upcoming audition. I only auditioned for one thing in my life ever – and didn’t make it… but our kid, the nerdy quiet kid that you had to coerce into going to talk to someone for 20 minutes before he would timidly approach…he has auditioned for so many things and made it, time and time again, he would walk in beaming and so excited that he made it. So as the music again started in our home early this winter and we stuffed aside the ‘here we go again’ thoughts as we would hear explosive bursts of song coming from different areas of the house…he prepared for his first high school audition.
All his past auditions were closed auditions, and since neither his father nor I have ever participated in such things, I didn’t know they didn’t always call you into a little room, let you run your lines and sing your song then send you on your way. So there I was again finding myself shocked when at pickup he told me he had to audition in front of everyone else who was auditioning….hello? Say what?!?! They actually do that? Like on the stage, in the auditorium with a light shining on you all by yourself? Now, I don’t know where but only from God has this kid has been able to grow in this way. We have always encouraged our children, told them to be leaders, to act boldly, serve with excellence…but this, this boldness can only come when God steps in and takes your hand.
His love of theater and music has been stirring in his soul for the past few years. He participated in some caliber all three years of middle school, his final year as one of the lead roles, as Charlie in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He was told his first high school audition was ‘amazing’ by the drama teacher who he has for another class – he was psyched! So after the weeks of preparation and two days of auditioning, the news of no part at all in the musical just about flattened him. Not even the guy in the way way way back of the chorus who has to stand behind the tree…nope, nadda, zip, zilch….no place for his talent here. Devastated, crushed, hurt… so of course good old mom steps in with a hug and the words I always say not only to my children but myself, “you can’t see it right now, but there is a reason, God has something bigger planned for you, you just might not be able to see it right now, but trust in the process…” – insert HUGE teenage eye roll HERE- and yes sometimes I roll my eyes at myself as well, but there is truth in it so I have engraved in on my heart.
So here’s the thing, you may be wondering, why am I so thankful…well in all difficult circumstances it’s not always your first feeling, I know…I’m human so of course I was like, “Who is she?”, “Who does she think she is?”, “Who has her email?”, “Is she deaf?”, “Why would she say your audition was ‘amazing’ and cut you?”, “She goes to our church?!?!”…human Momma bear stuff, told you – human. But then for some reason later that night I opened my personal twitter feed to see this:
Congrats to everyone who made the musical 🙂
8:33 PM – 22 Dec 2015
……….grace…..he showed them grace- all the kids he stood before and sang his heart out to and recited lines in front of, in his hurting disappointment he was given the opportunity to extend grace and did…and there it was, the God thing I told him about, the bigger than him, the working in him and through him that he didn’t know was going to happen. The opportunity to serve not in the way he initially intended, but to do set work. To labor tirelessly in a position that he is not gifted in. To walk the lines of “I am quitting, I can’t stand it, I am not good at this, I am exhausted! MOM! I put one chair out during one scene! MOM!”, and persevere. And hey let me be honest here – there were days when I was thinking, “oh please yes, so I don’t have to pick you up everyday and have you be exhausted and grumpy for one more day” ….but what would that be teaching him? As a parent, I cannot keep these things from happening to them- he and the rest of them and yours will get knocked down, have their heart broken and face trials….(a friend’s son was tagged to win a race in his category of swimming – he jumped in an swam the wrong stroke – she couldn’t save him from that – it broke her heart to pieces- but she could pick him up and help him through it) but it is not only my job but my privilege as his mother to walk along side him during these times to encourage, engage, pray and teach. So yes, jet lagged and tired we sat there – in the very last row of the auditorium and waited for that scene for our oldest son, dressed in black to put one chair on the stage in the dark to show him we supported him.
If we didn’t face disappointments, if everything was amazing, if we got everything we wanted at the second we wanted it, why would need God? Why would we need a Savior? Where would we find joy, if life was just all good – would we even know it? Why is there this trend that our kid deserves more then any other kid? Why are there parents screaming in the face of coaches? Why do parents go and buy their kid the very thing you save months for and gave your child for their birthday after they leave the party? What is this doing to them? Is this helping them to grow? Is it helping them to learn to face rejection, or to learn the value that there is joy in the journey? It would have been easy for me to email this teacher – then what? And for what? To try to save him from the very place God wanted him to be? Sometimes it isn’t about us at all – maybe his sole purpose was to be there to hold that girl’s hair back while she threw up…I don’t know…but I know he was exactly where he was meant to be. By me interfering – that there would have been the injustice in this entire circumstance. Could it be us, these parents in our quest to seal the deal on our children’s full happiness, that we are actually stealing their joy?
And this teacher who cut him from this musical…I have no idea who she is or what she looks like- but not only did she allow my child to grow through this experience in ways I didn’t know he could, but by cutting him from this musical she allowed him to bond with other students, to share other’s joy with them, to have his passion reaffirmed, to have an appreciation for every single little part that goes into a production, to be there and serve others who got the part he wanted…by giving him this disappointment, she made the joy of him being hand selected by a different teacher to sing on stage at Carnegie Hall in a few weeks…that much more joy filled. So thank you, to this teacher who didn’t just cut my kid, but many…we are thankful for the opportunity you gave us to grow together, and for that I am very thankful.