When you were young, was there ever something you did any chance you got (besides your boyfriend/girlfriend)?
For me it was dancing and singing. I loved them both. I quit singing at a very young age. My family could have won gold medals in the ‘sport of teasing’ and my singing was near the top of the list of their favorite things to tease me about.¹ I remember my aunt telling me she would even pay me to quit singing….UGH…talk about a knock on the good ol’ self-esteem. It’s not like I pretended I was going to be a pop-princess or anything. Wait. I *might* have actually pretended to be a pop-princess once or twice. But still, it’s not like my singing was making the dogs howl, babies cry, or car alarms go off. I’m sure I had a fine voice, untrained, but fine.
Now my dancing? That’s another story. I grew up in a school where my friends just *knew* how to dance. I reflect back on my times dancing on the high school dance floor and congure up an image of my young self:
I was an amazing blend of Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson, and Madonna all wrapped up into one geeky, suburban, white girl.
Okay, so I didn’t have cable growing up and I really don’t know how those pop-princesses actually danced, but I was really good at watching what my friends were doing out on the dance floor and copying them. There are NO rules against that…and I’m sure I made up a cool signature move, or two, of my own².
With all this fabulous information about my childhood, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find out that I get pretty freakin’ crabby when someone rips on one of my kids for something they love to do. Because, seriously…if someone is doing something that makes them happy, and that ‘thing’ isn’t hurting anyone – who are we to tease, ridicule, and be a bully to them about it?
My step-daughter, Kelsey³, has always sung. Always.
And for the first time in her life she was able to start taking singing lessons this winter. It’s been amazing to hear her transform her voice from something fun to play with to an actual musical instrument. She put on her VERY first recital at the beginning of this month. She had to face some of the same fears so many other kids performing faced, plus the added fears that someone ‘very close’ to her put in her mind and heart.
Is she good enough? Does she suck? Does it sound like someone just stepped on the cat? Should she bury her voice far away and never let anyone hear it again? I don’t think so, but then again – I love her like she’s my own, so I might be a little biased:
Please leave Kelsey a comment. She would love to hear from you. XO
¹To this day I am ashamed of and so very, very unconfident about my singing voice…bitches.
²If you went to high school with me you are OBLIGATED to tell my BFFs what a wonderful dancer I was. I have a certain amount of credibility to uphold here.
³Kelsey, formerly known as The Artist.