Saturday, January 20, 2007

(Nearly) Teenage Drama Queen: Epilogue

We all know what I was expecting. The Child would fail miserably, be humiliated and just possibly in the midst of such a tragic fall, learn a lesson.

She competed in 2 rounds. She ranked 2nd in both. She received terrifically high marks. She got affirming, fabulous comments. None of the judges said a critical lick about her presentation, only offering helpful hints for doing even better. In short, no crashing, no burning, no humiliation.

She floated to the car on the proverbial cloud of bliss.

I may be the worst mother in the world, but I am not going to be one of those parents who is so hell-bent on making the point that the bubble need be burst too soon.

So she glimmered and glowed and cooed for a bit. And I told her that I was very proud of her. Then, oh so casually, I began to share with her the conversation The Neighbor and I had about procrastination. ("What's that?" she asked. I gave illustrations from my own life. They are myriad).

And then, as gently and sweetly as I could I asked, "Given what I've just shared with you, is there anything you've learned today?"

"I learned that I can do pretty well!"

Not the answer we were looking for, was it? "Yes. You did very well and I am extremely proud of you. But Child, think about it. You ranked second without practising very much. What do you think would happen if you spent a little time every day on this?"

"OH!" Her eyes gleamed. "I could probably win an award!"

Ya think?

So I challenged her to spend 15 minutes a day on her speech between now and the next competition, which is in 2 weeks. And she accepted. In fact, she started practising right there in the car. A few minutes in she looked up and said, "Mom, I just love speech!"

Color me speechless.

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Blogger Sling opined...

A teenage girl well versed in the art of speech!.I am profoundly hopeful!...and a little scared. ;)

January 20, 2007 8:55 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Oh, afraid. Be very afraid.

January 20, 2007 10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

She seems to be doing fine notwithstanding the absence of 'awards'. I say pft to awards. I say huzzah to The Child and to The Parents who have let her breathe. Congrats to both.

January 21, 2007 3:12 AM  
Blogger Amy opined...

I love a Child who says they LOVE something to do with learning and discovering and challenging themselves!!! coooooooo ! Passion is just about the bestest thing in the world.

January 21, 2007 4:08 AM  
Blogger greeny opined...

YAY! Fodder for her next challenge. I keep a file of such incidents so I can remind mine "Remember when THIS happened and you said "Next time, I'll...".
Wish it worked with my 5th grader...

January 21, 2007 6:09 AM  
Blogger Jon opined...

I just love it when you relay tales such as these about you and The Child. I had quite a giggle first thing in the morning.

January 21, 2007 7:55 AM  
Blogger Citymouse opined...

isnt it great when they figure things out (almost) on their own!

January 21, 2007 9:22 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Indeed, Charlie. Awards are pftable. It should all be about love of the thing for its own sake etc. etc. I was thrilled to see her so thrilled without a prize. When I am the Benevolent Dictator of the World we will dispense with prizes all together.

And thanks.

Amy, It was quite a moment. Seriously, it has been a while since I've seen her quite that jazzed about something.

Greeny, I do hope the glow of this sticks with her for a while. It's still all about babysteps, isn't it?

CM: Very great. Because it makes us think that maybe, just maybe, they'll be able to go out There and function reasonably well on their own.

January 21, 2007 9:56 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Jon, Happy to provide you with the requisite amount of mirth with your morning coffee. It's why I'm here!

January 21, 2007 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

This is so funny. Yesterday, I very nearly commented that she will probably do great and your whole point will be lost. Which is only funny to me because I have no children and find the adventures in parenting quite entertaining (adjusts monocle, strokes cat)

January 21, 2007 11:54 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Your wisdom is great, O Thumbless One.

January 21, 2007 11:57 AM  
Blogger Red7Eric opined...

I'm with Amy. When a kid finds something they love doing, practicing is a joy and not a chore. The divine Regina Spektor aside (did you see her on Sunday Morning this morning?), not many people who hate practicing the piano grow up to be much good at it. It's entirely possible that now that she has a taste of what success in speech looks like, it'll be all she needs to really dig her heels in. That's how I felt about the theatre; going to rehearsal was almost as much fun, and sometimes more, than performing and awaiting all that applause.

Good on ya for teaching a life lesson while keeping her joyous little bubble intact and floating.

January 21, 2007 3:41 PM  
Blogger Grish opined...

Hmm, sounds like the child is blessed...

January 21, 2007 4:16 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

It's very exciting, Red. The thing about her piece, too, is that it's a humorous reading from a cute book called "Polly's Secret Diary". She reads it with an English accent and lots of great gestures...very theatrical. That is soooo her thing. I love it.

She is, Grish. She is.

January 21, 2007 5:07 PM  
Blogger Molly opined...

so auntie raine, it's my turn. If there is one more blog from you containing the phrase 'worst mother in the world', I will be forced to come up and bother you. You are the one who keeps me from shaving my head and being all emo. No insults upon yourself are allowed. I learned that from a wise woman.

January 21, 2007 5:46 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

In this case, Mols, it's a joke. Long story. I'll explain it sometime. I know I don't suck completely and I'm certainly happy to help you keep from "going all emo"...although that's one of the things I love about you!

January 21, 2007 5:47 PM  
Blogger Red7Eric opined...

Hoo boy. A life in the theatre might be beckoning -- many of us got started in Speech Club. You think she's a Drama Queen now? You don't know the half!

(It's fun, tho'.)

January 22, 2007 6:43 AM  

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