It’s that time of year again — honor’s choir try-outs at the middle school.
As if navigating the daily life of tween children isn’t challenging enough, why must we purposely provide opportunities for our dear children’s dreams to be crushed?
Life isn’t preschool t-ball when everyone is a winner — I know, I know.
But sometimes this sensitive mama sure wishes it could be.
You may remember from last year, my middle daughter Manda — fun loving, can’t stop singing, “Taylor Swift wanna be” Manda — nervously tried out for the Middle Schools’ Honors Choir.
We heard a rumor that mostly only 7th and 8th graders made this elite choir team, although tryouts were open to any child 5th through 8th grade. But my girl loves to sing, wanted to give it a try as a 5th grader, and looked forward to the choir audition.
Me, on the other hand, not so much.
I’m the mama bear who likes to protect her cubs. Life has not been easy for Manda in many ways—school bullying, emotional challenges, etc. Would encouraging her to tryout, setting her up for the possibility of more rejection, be the best choice?
However, I soon realized her tryout was bringing up old fears of rejection’s painful sting from my childhood. I was bringing my old fears into her new days.
I know what you’re thinking — Not good, Cindy. Not good.
So with a fresh determination to use this situation to not only bring healing and health to my heart, but to also grow myself as a mom strengthened by faith, I committed to learning how to walk through rejection in a healthy, whole way with my children.
I made a list of specific ways I would help my children when the answer is “NO“, including, “if she doesn’t make it this year, I’ll help make sure Manda follows through on her promise to give it a try next year.”
Sometimes easier said than done.
Two days after the audition I received the dreaded e-mail: the choir teacher wanted to caution me I may have a disappointed daughter after school. My girl who loves to sing did not make the honors choir.
Sweet friends, Manda had a choice.
We always have a choice, don’t we?!
Manda could allow this one audition to defeat her dreams, or she could use it to propel her towards hard work, perseverance, and more preparation.
My amazing daughter choose the latter.
Over the past year, I’ve watched her work hard to keep her dream alive. She has stepped out of her shy shell and volunteered for a kids worship team on Sunday mornings. She went to a musical camp over the summer. She started working with a voice coach on a weekly basis, and has spent many hours at home going over her assignments and song lessons.
Bottom line: Manda didn’t give up on her dream based on hearing the word “no” one time, by one person.
This past Friday was the honors choir try-out for this school year.
We remembered the rumor that mostly only 7th and 8th graders made this elite team, and this year Manda is a 6th grader. But once again, Manda wanted to try and spent many hours practicing and preparing for the choir audition.
All weekend Manda was on pins and needles waiting for the results. “Did you get an email, Mom? Did you get an email?”
Thankfully the “caution” email did not come, because yesterday when the list was posted outside the choir classroom, Manda’s name was on the list. She made it! Woo Hoo!
Let the confetti celebration begin!
Today we are celebrating my daughter Amanda — not only because she made the team (although we are excited for her), but mostly because she did not give up on her dream, even after hearing the dreaded word, “no” the first go round.
How about for you, friend?
When was the last time you wanted to quit? In what ways have you allowed old fear and rejection to impact your new days? What is one thing you can do today towards stepping out in faith towards your dreams? I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*. Have a wonderful, courage-filled week!
P.S. And if you want to leave a note for my sweet Manda girl, I’ll pass along all messages of Congratulations! 🙂