Again I will repeat Tina Fey’s prayer, “Lead her not into acting but not so far as finance.”
Seems I have had some influence over my children after all. Ella got the part in Missoula Children’s Theatre’s “The Jungle Book.” She was a monkey. She was one of 16 monkeys, to be exact. The monkeys were non speaking, for the most part but they had cute little songs and dances. I, like any reasonable stage parent, stayed out of it.
No, really, I did. I took her to rehearsals but didn’t stay. I didn’t quiz her on what they did for two hours every day. I made sure she had a show t-shirt. I went to both performances and only cried once. I got video and elbowed my way to the front of photo call for the perfect shot.
Know what? She loved it. She did it all herself and she had a great time.
In the last few weeks, we have done new things. We went roller skating. I made Ella pick out her own school clothes and go into a changing room and try them on. (Until this point I would buy and she would wear but her little body is changing. Not in a puberty sense but there are variables in clothing sizes at her age.) And then she auditioned, got a part in and (if I may say so myself) stole about 30 seconds of the show.
What I have learned about Ella is to just let her do it. If you talk too much she will tune you right out or your voice becomes part of the noise of her world.
And by “you” I mean “me” of course.
Keeping with this idea, I registered her for piano lessons and a youth choir. Mimi will be taking piano as well. Playing piano is one of the things I wished my parents would have forced me to keep doing. I’d be great by now! Okay probably not because I’m terrible at things that require two hands. Knitting. Piano. Single shooter games. Other two-handed tasks that escape me at the moment. They’ll come to me.
School starts for Ella in three weeks, for Amelia in five. I’m starting to really regret my decision to hold Amelia for another year and do preschool again. I say that because she grew, in more than one way, over the summer. I feel like if she HAD to be in kindergarten she would do just fine and actually probably better than Ella did. Not that I would subject Amelia to what Ella had to go through but I do think she would be okay. So now I’m wondering (and I know it’s too late to change anything so it’s just noise in my head) if I did the right thing and am I doing her a disservice keeping her back.
It’s one of those things I’ll never know. Also, one of those decisions I didn’t like making on my own. Would have been nice to have an after-dinner discussion or a jab in the middle of the night when I can’t shut my brain off.
And, lately, my mind is noisy.
Funny that. I mean, the littles have learned to be quiet. You know, when they need to be. My life with them is certainly easier than even this time last year. Then why? Why do I dream and scheme and worry and create, all after midnight?
Again, I will probably never have an answer to that. I think I just have to chalk it up to the cycle of things. Or…or…does this signal the beginning of a new phase?