March 7, 2013

Moo's Got Talent! I Got Nothin'.

Disclaimer 1:  I really hate disclaimers at the beginning of blog posts.
Disclaimer 2:  I wrote this post months ago and felt so terrible that I couldn't publish it.  However, in the interests of trying to post more frequently, cleaning out my drafts and being honest here, I have decided to kick this baby out of the nest.

Tonight I live up to my blog name.  Tonight I was ultra, crappy-ass, NOT-super-mom.  At bedtime Moo says "You know America's Got Talent auditions are coming to our area, right?"  Uh, no, but thanks for the info??  Actually I said exactly--nothing.

I had no idea what to say.  How can I explain to my somewhat shy and fairly intelligent daughter that this is just not something that she needs to partake in.  And furthermore, WHY?!?!? (I scream in my head) do I even NEED to explain to her that it is just completely outside of the realm of possibility that she would ever be on that show?!?  I know, I know, crappy-ass, not-so-super mom here, (remember what you're reading). I should be encouraging and finding ways to fire up her imagination and--I just couldn't do it.  I didn't have the patience or the imagination myself to come up with anything that wasn't precisely just shitty.  Shitty.  

I was like, "I really don't want to discourage you, but you do understand that these people are competing for a show in Las Vegas, right?  I mean, they are doing magic and acrobatics and laser shows." (Sometimes all in the same act.)  Moo, "Yeah, I know.  That's why I have to come up with something really amazing."  I should be proud, I really should, but I just find it stupefying that she thinks she can do anything that would get here near that show.  And I feel like a crappy-ass super dream-crusher.  

Here's the irony of it all--I was a theatre major in college.  I should be the one encouraging her yearnings to perform and finding an outlet for some of her dream-chasing.  We did do a Christmas play last year and I did sign her up for Stage Camp this summer.  But I am also living in East Bumblestick PA.  Not the Big Apple, not LA.  I did not move to the city so many moons ago, because I was not ambitious or driven enough to chase those dreams myself.  My degree is in Technical Theater because that was the "practical" choice, but even the "practical" choices in Theater are really still require a drive and ambition I just don't seem to possess.

I still feel guilty reading this.  What I should possess is the selflessness and encouragement of a mother who wants her child to dream big dreams and follow them, but that feels a little foolish and, well, impractical.  I want to be encouraging and inspiring but usually my more realistic side wins.

And honestly I feel like it's a daily battle when Disney and Nickelodeon try to make these child stars seem so down-to-earth and real to our kids.  I mean, of course they are real people, but their lives are not "real" in the grand scheme of our daily living.  It is just NOT typical to have a successful acting/singing career in your tween and teen years.  They would not have our children think so.  It's like something else you can simply choose to do, like joining the soccer team or playing an instrument.  THAT is what bothers me.  Are those kids talented?  Sure. (Mostly, I think.)  But I don't think those companies/networks properly convey how unique their lifestyles are.  This is why American Idol has weeks of "audition" episodes--because anyone and everyone thinks they can just do it because they want to.  Not necessarily because they are talented enough and/or trained hard enough to do so.

And anyway, that's entirely NOT the tangent on which I wanted to fly off.  My whole point here is that I feel like an abysmal failure as a mother, to not be lifting up my wonderful daughter on a cloud of her dreams when all I can think about is that clouds aren't solid and she'll likely come crashing through and down to the ground sooner rather than later.

And the fact is I think she is so truly wonderful.  She is very smart, gets along well in school, plays clarinet like a boss (which is simply amazing to me since I can't read music to save my life--I may as well be reading Chinese) and she is a Girl Scout (and a much better one than I was).  She's even in another play right now.  She is AWESOME. I am amazingly proud of her.  And there are no acrobatics, magic or laser shows that can beat that.

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