Last night was my daughter’s 10th birthday party. We did it at the bowling alley and she had a fantastic time! It really was fun to watch her interact with her friends. She has chosen some wonderful friends and they all got along well, even though they didn’t all know each other.
After we got home, my husband and I reminded her that she had auditions for her dance studio’s pre-professional dance company this morning. A little background seems needed here, so I’ll try to do it quickly. There are three levels of ProTrack and Karen has been a charter member since she was in 2nd grade andshe was always in the first level, due to both her skill level and her age. This year she said she’d like to try out for the 2nd level since she is now old enough. I was all for that. The kids in Level One seemed to be a little more immature than Karen would like. Karen arrives at class and she is ready to learn and dance. Not mess around. (with a few exceptions, I’m sure. But, I’m talking generally.)
So, back to last night…She was tired and excited from the party. COMPLETELY understandable. So, we told her she needed to practice her solo one more time and that we needed to burn a cd of her song. All was fine. Then she did her solo and I said, “Uh oh. That’s under a minute. I thought it had to be between a minute and a minute anda half.” Her face fell. She said, “Okay. I’ll try to add more.” After more than 30 minutes of trying to add 15 seconds (at the max), she became very frustrated. I then said, “Hey. Don’t worry about it. Just do it the way you planned. I’m sure they are more concerned with someone taking TOO much time, so that’s why they say to have it a minute.” Then, she starts telling me that she doesn’t want to try out in front of the judges all by herself. (which is the first time she’s had to do this. In the first level, they try out in groups of three.) Then she says she doesn’t want to try out for the first level because she has to try out in a group, and since she’s the shortest, she’s always in the front. I am starting to get a little frustrated myself now. We start discussing and we are both at this point very, very tired. So, I tell her to just go up to bed, but it wasn’t pretty at this point, and I screwed it up.
Her dad went in to talk with her and she calmed down, came to me and apologized for making me mad. I assured her I wasn’t mad, just frustrated like she was. I told her, “Just go out for ProTrack 2 and do it like you had planned. I’m sorry I tried to have you make it a little longer.” Then we went through the whole thing about the audition stuff. Trying to keep my composure, I said, “Look it is almost 11:00. I’ll wake you at 7, and you can decide then, after you’ve had some sleep.”
So, I set my alarm, wake her up and she says she’s decided not to try out at all. I felt like crap. I knew in my heart that I had screwed this up all on my own. If I had just left things alone last night, she’d be at auditions and ready to go. If she had made this decision two weeks ago, I’d be completely fine with it. But, I truly think this is my fault. It’s now or never and there is no second chance. Right now, I hate myself.
I went back into my bedroom to talk with my husband about it, and he said, “I don’t understand why this is a big deal.” I said, “What if Mark came home from this weekend (he’s repelling with the scouts) and said, ‘I don’t want to be a Boy Scout anymore.’ How would you feel about that?” Tom said, “I would try to talk him out of it.” I said, “Isn’t that the same thing then?” He said, “Yeah. I guess it is.” And went back to sleep.
I wish I could turn back time and just have shut up. Then, she would have tried out and either made it or not. (Honestly, I don’t think anyone doesn’t make it, especially if they are already a member.) That’s probably what is bothering me as well. My mind is swimming. I’m in tears as I write this. Just slow, filling up the eyes tears, not sobbing.
I am not a stage mom. I know that. I help out behind the scenes, but I haven’t pushed her. It just seemed like a good title. I just know this girl as talent. A month ago, the owner of the dance studio told me that she would be so sad if Karen had decided not to come back. At this time, Karen was worried about the tryouts and her solo. The owner assured me that they would talk about it in class and make sure the girls understood what exactly would be happening.
She loves to dance. She never complained about going to her three classes. (Well, that’s not exactly true. She hated ballet and that was a requirement.) I realize as I write this, some of you will be saying, “Well, see? She didn’t want to do this after all. But, thing that is holding me back from that conclusion is my behavior, reaction, and just plain bad mothering last night.
I’m sorry to bother my readers with this, it’s just that I feel completely responsible for a decision that I’m afraid she’ll regret in just a couple of days.