In which I get more than I bargained for at the talent show

Ah, the talent show.

Let’s dispense with the suspense  – J did a wonderful job delivering his monologue in front of the crowd Friday night.  Craig and I sat slack-jawed in the audience because we had never seen him so confident, engaging, and warm as we did for those three and a half minutes he stood under the lights, drinking from a Pepsi can he brought on stage as a prop. He was the epitome of cool, and my baby had SWAG, lemme’ tell you.

My favorite joke?  

“I don’t have a bank account yet but only because I don’t know my mother’s maiden name.”

I may have snort laughed.

And remotely checked my bank balance.

The preponderance of acts were from aspiring musicians.  We heard a little Taylor Swift, Adele, Bruno Mars (sung by a tiny 6th grade boy complete with all the feels over losing his girlfriend), and Imagine Dragons.  There was dancing (I think one girl demonstrated ballet but it could have been hip hop or a tumbling routine – still trying to figure it out but rest assured it did not lack for enthusiasm), instrumental pieces (one boy played the piano, another the harp, and one girl a little red Solo cup), and were even witness to an interesting self-defense karate sequence to Radioactive that I’m not likely to forget for a long time to come.

I’ll admit to walking into the auditorium that night a little nervous about J’s performance but after the first few acts, I began to understand something that was both relief and a sobering realization.

The relief?

The other kids weren’t perfect.

The realization?

I was expecting it from my kid.

And why?

Because I expect it from myself.

If there had been a wall near me, you’d have found me banging my head against it.  I’ve fought perfectionism for a long time and while I don’t struggle with it in some areas (let’s just take a look at the piles of clothes in the floor of my closet as Exhibit A), in others it’s still an issue.  And I was so proud of John for standing on stage and trying something I would never do for fear of bombing publicly.  He has more bravery than his mother ever will, no fear of failure, and I cannot tell you 1) how proud I was of him and 2) how chagrined I was at imposing my out-of-whack expectations on such a tender kid.

He is 14.

He is not me.

He has his own desires and interests.

He will have success.

He will have failure.

It will be okay.


All that from a little $5 admission ticket.

It was worth every penny.

Have a nice day.


9 responses to “In which I get more than I bargained for at the talent show

  1. Note to self … text the word “Greenwood” to JJ.

  2. How awesome!



  3. I think, nearly as important as realizing that they’ll fail, and it will be okay, is that, as parents, we’ll have failures in raising them. What a gift for both of us to realize we’re not ever going to be perfect. And, pretty much, it’ll still be okay. Mind you, I have the market cornered on PRACTICALLY perfect. xxxooo

  4. Ah! Wisdom.!!!! Thank you.

  5. So there was no judge who chose who did best? Just take the $5/person & run? I do get it that John was best in your eyes or at lest better than most. And going to fill the shoes that God gives him.

    Love, Hope, Peace, & JOY!

    Nelda Swift

  6. stephaniecanipe

    Wow, great stuff. Thanks for that! You just saved me 5 bucks 😉. Really, just what I needed to hear. You’re a good mom, x

  7. Wonderful words of wisdom! Thank you!

  8. Wow! This has my name written all over it. Housekeeping is NOT included in my perfection streak. But I can be way too hard on myself and others. Thanks for sharing your thoughts…gives me lots to think about. Love ya! I’mNOTNED’s comment is hilarious!

  9. I’m glad he did well. I can relate to the notion of expectation. I realized not that long ago, that I expect my kids to be better than me. Really got me thinking. Also, funny in a teenager helps a lot. Takes the edge off some of the edges : )

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