Sunday, June 28, 2009

Talent Share

Heavenly Father knew I NEEDED an Andrew in my life. He needed to be my first child, to teach me and to help me grow. As I have mentioned many times before in this blog, I don't enjoy doing things I am not good at. I have never had the self-confidence to fail in front of others. There are probably lots of things that I would enjoy in life, but I don't know because I wouldn't try them. But I am determined not to create this anxiety in my own children. I try so hard to let them be who they are, to not expect perfection, but I have to admit, it really is hard for me. I never had that problem with other people's children. I could accept them as they were, love them, adore them, teach them, feel no need to change them. But with my own it is completely different. Something I have to consciously work on daily. As soon as I think I am conquering this part of me, the Lord gives me opportunities to grow even more.

So a few weeks ago the primary talent share was announced at church. Andrew does really well memorizing and speaking and singing in front of others. I knew this was something he would really like doing and could do well. I thought about his many talents, and made a few suggestions.
Me-How about telling a few jokes, you are really funny. That is one of your talents.
A-No, that's too boring. (his answer for anything he doesn't want to do these days).
Me-Well, maybe you could play your guitar. You are doing a good job learning.
Me-Maybe you could act out a story with some of your friends. You could do the 3 Pigs or the Billy Goats Gruff.
A-No, I want to sing.
Me-What do you want to sing? You know lots of great songs. You are a great singer.
A-I don't know. Let me think about it.
(A couple of days pass and I don't mention it again. Then one day we are driving down the road listening to a CD he got from his cousin Masen a year ago).
A-Oh Mommy, now I know what I want to do for the talent show. I want to sing "Life is a Highway!"
Me-Really? It is kind of fast, and we don't know all the words. Maybe you could sing "I won't grow up" from Peter Pan. You already know it really well. We even have a costume.
A-No, "Life is a Highway."

Enter the growing opportunity. Now myself, I would never choose to do something that was out of my comfort zone on purpose. I knew this song was too hard for Andrew. It is really long, it is really fast, and hard to understand. I knew there were many things he could do easily and do really well. I wanted him to be successful (meaning do the best job he was capable of). I knew there were things he could do much better, but I knew I needed to let this be his thing. So for three weeks we practiced this song. We looked up the lyrics on line so we could figure out what they were saying, but they were still hard to sing as fast as the song goes, even for Chad and me. We even cut the song in half. Andrew would only practice the song in the car with me and didn't want to learn any dance moves to go with it. So, I let it go. I was determined to let it be his thing. I didn't want him to not want to do something because it wasn't polished and perfect. I wanted him to have a good time.

Then the night before the talent show, he announced, "I think I will sing 'I Hope They Call Me on A Mission' instead." "Oh" I replied, trying not to act excited, though I was desperately wanting to encourage this train of thought. "Maybe you could dress up like a missionary and carry your backpack. That would be cool." "Great Idea!" he exclaimed. I was really excited, I knew this was something he could do well and be successful at. I knew everyone would be able to understand him and would think he was adorable. But I have been his Mommy for 4 and 1/2 years, I didn't get my hopes up.

It was a good thing I didn't hold my breath. He awoke the next morning determined to do "Life is a Highway." I told him I thought that was fabulous and we headed off to church. And that is exactly what he did. And it didn't go perfectly. And it was wonderful! The microphone wasn't on at the beginning, and no one could hear him sing, but he didn't let that bother him. He just kept right on going. (Even at 4 I would have been in tears and wanting to start over again or given up). I am so glad I didn't push my ideas or plans on Andrew. As you can see in the video, he is SO HAPPY. He had so much more fun then he would have, had he taken one of my suggestions. He enjoyed his performance and I enjoyed his performance. He was proud of himself.

The scriptures say, "Men are that they might have Joy." If Heavenly Father wants for His children to have JOY, then I can't aspire for any greater thing as their earthly mother then for my children to have JOY. And I challenge anyone to watch Andrew dance and see his face in this video and not feel his JOY.


Avni said...

Love Love Love it!!! :-) He rocks and so do you! :-D

kruegfam said...

Did I notice a couple of Micheal Jackson moves there? He was wonderful. I did not know I had messed up your head so badly.hehe Sorry! I thought you did many many things well and did try some things...but you never really know what is exactly going on in someone elses head.

Basil Family said...

That was wonderful! He did a great job.

It's funny that you talked about being embarrassed, etc because Callan watched it with me and asked if he was embarrassed. Guess I need to work on that particular aspect of parenting. :)

Gina said...

What a wonderful mother to take such a lesson from this experience! I loved it!

Greg and louise said...

He did a great job. How wonderful to not have any stage freight. This will serve him well as he grows.

CR said...

He is awesome! I loved it! You are an amazing mom, we all can learn from you.

Janie Mann said...

Soooo cute, Danielle!

Christy said...

That was AWESOME!! This is probably one of my favorite blog posts I've EVER read!! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful lesson with such great entertainment at the end. Tell Andrew we think he did a GREAT job!!