It’s not pushing if she’s running ahead

One of the best parts about motherhood has been watching my children develop their personalities as they grow. I love seeing what their likes and dislikes are, the things that interest them, motivate them, and challenge them. It can be a stretch for me when they are drawn to things that wouldn’t necessarily interest me (like Georgia and her love for soccer), but their enthusiasm makes it easier to see why they love what they do.

And what is cuter than a little girl playing soccer? Not much.

But when my kids start to gravitate to something that I can totally identify with, that’s pure joy.

I started acting when, one day at the age of twelve, I decided to stay in from recess to try out for the sixth grade play. Somehow at the audition, I was paired up with the “ickiest” boy in school and in an attempt to survive the experience, threw myself into the part. I was given the leading role, and I never looked back.

Throughout junior high and high school, I spent most of my after-school hours in the “auditorium,” practicing for whatever show happened to be coming up. During those unfortunate months where there was no play happening, I took voice and piano lessons in preparation for the next show. I even directed a couple of plays at my church, and my senior project was directing and performing in the musical, “She Loves Me.”

So you can imagine I’ve been interested to see if any of my four children have inherited the flair for the dramatic from their mother. At the same time, though, I have always been very careful not to try to push them to get involved in theatre.

This fall, Audrey auditioned for her school’s 4th-6th grade play, “Goldilocks on Trial.” And she was thrilled to be chosen to play Goldilocks herself. I eagerly signed up to help the four high-school girls who were directing the production. Thanks to my mother-in-law’s help with my three younger kids, I was able to be at play practice once a week, helping with costumes, crowd control, and the kids who made up the jury.

Audrey loved being on stage. She worked hard at memorizing all her lines as quickly as she could, she listened to the directors when they wanted her to change something, and she threw herself into her role with such passion that it brought tears to my eyes. I loved being involved with the production, but not directly with her. That way, I could just watch her from the sidelines, doing her own thing. I didn’t have to push her, because she was running on her own.

Who knows what the future holds for my little actress? I loved sharing this special time with her. It was wonderful to watch her discover the magic of being on stage, of making the audience laugh. The feeling of both of you doing something you love is hard to beat. I’m looking forward to next year’s show already!

What special interest have you shared with your child?

Trish Herr’s then five year old daughter Alex wanted to hike all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4,000+ foot mountains. Would you let your five year old do the same? Join From Left to Write on April 12 as we discuss Up: A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure. As a member of From Left to Write, I received a copy of the book. All opinions are my own.

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