Let me start by saying that I'm kidding with the title of this post. For me, the hardest thing in the world is to be a mother to my middle daughter and her NEED for performing. First of all, even though it's not at all about me, it gives me hives when this child insists on performing at every talent show this side of the Mississippi. I get so nervous for her that I want to die. My oldest daughter has the same affliction and begs her sister NOT to perform.
In spite of the fact that her sister and mother are neurotic, Maddie was born to perform. As I've mentioned here a time or two, she is a clogger and we travel near and far for her to compete individually and with her team. She also sings...constantly, and writes, directs, casts and stars in her own plays. This is no exaggeration, she wrote her first play when she was 10, casted all her friends, called the Senior Center to see if she could use the hall, made up flyers, sold tickets, baked cookies and performed her play in front of about 20 people. Literally, the only thing I contributed? Picking up the juice for the drinks and helping her clean up - I'm not kidding.
Her major decisions every summer, all summer, are what talent shows she wants to do and whether she should dance or sing. Seriously. She is a very gracious kid and is one of the best sports I've ever seen, win or lose. If she loses, she is always the first one to go up to the winner and congratulate them and if she wins, she acts very humble. She saves all her Diva-shit for us lucky folks at home and we are constantly keeping her grounded.
When her clogging competitions are over, the entire drive home we have to hear how she can't wait for the next one and how she wishes she could be on stage every day. Even though this sounds cute and wow and all? It really is exhausting and can be annoying. Having a child that always has to be the center of attention, gets old. Sometimes, I just want to tell her to sit down and be quiet, blend in, don't be so damn......'out there'. Doesn't that seem awful? So unsupportive? Can't help it, it's just how I feel sometimes. There is nothing I hate worse than people that brag about their kids constantly. It annoys the crap out of me, so I seem to go overboard and really 'play down' whatever Maddie has going on.
Don't get me wrong. It makes us very proud when she does well, wins her competitions and shows so much dedication, but the rest of us are just NOT about performing and trying to stick out in a crowd, if you know what I mean.
Okay, okay, get to the point already, I know. Well, as I've mentioned, we are going to Branson, Missouri to stay with my dad for Thanksgiving. Well, my dad calls yesterday and proceeds to tell me that this guy he works with plays keyboards in two of the big shows down in Branson. Of course, proud grandpa that he is, he can't help but mention his middle grand-daughter's pension for the stage. After talking to this guy for awhile and bragging ad-nauseum, the guy says, "She should really audition for the clogging shows and kids' plays scheduled for next summer." WTF? Well, come to find out, this guy is one of the people who makes the decisions about what kids are going to be able to perform for 6-week stints at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. They have clogging shows, music revues and plays that are put on and participated in by kids.
As you can imagine, when this was mentioned to Maddie, the people in Minneapolis could hear her screaming. After she calmed down and we told her there was NO guarantee that she would make it, there are a lot of talented kids out there, you know, she said she didn't care, that if she just got to audition and have the chance, that's all she cared about. Blah, blah, blah.
John and I have mixed feelings about this. First of all, 6 WEEKS?? We run a business where I cannot be gone during the summer, it is NOT an option, which means Maddie would be gone and living in Branson, with my dad & step-mom for 6 weeks, should she be so fortunate to get this opportunity. Not to mention, she will be away from here and getting out of her chores and leaving behind her sisters to take up her slack. Seems petty, I know, but not when you are one of the sisters! And believe me, these two sisters have picked up her slack many times to make way for her passion of performing.
Of course, we want to be supportive of her dreams and would never think of telling her she couldn't do it if she did make it, but it does bring up some hesitations. The question we are constantly asking ourselves is, "how far do we let her go with this?"
I would love to hear opinions from you smart ladies (& men) out there. How far would you let your kids go? What are your thoughts on chasing dreams and what are the limits?
Monday, November 19, 2007
Posted by Angie at 10:43 PM