As a parent, one learns new things all the time. Recently I learned a very important lesson, albeit a somewhat obvious one. B's teacher had pulled me aside a few weeks ago to let me know she was going to assign B a very large role in the upcoming class play. I told her I was fine with it (even though I was extremely apprehensive about the amount of time that I would have to spend coaching her to learn her lines) and she said that she would make sure it was okay with B. Well, last Friday Teacher pulled me aside again to tell me that 'our little B' had decided she wasn't interested in the role. I was immediately filled with an emotion that I've never felt before; something along the lines of a cross between fear and confusion...or dread and anxiety. Really, I just cannot explain it. I briefly asked B why she had turned the role down and she shrugged and said "I dunno." Teacher reassured me that she cast B in another role that wasn't nearly as big but was very suited to B. As for me, I took my stack of homework and my sad-sack self back to the work room to sulk...I mean work.
As I tried to correct the kids' homework I was constantly poked by bothersome thoughts of why B would have turned down such a great "opportunity." Suddenly it struck me. It was child-me all over again! I was the girl who sold myself short so many times because I thought I wouldn't be good enough, wouldn't measure up, or just didn't have the chops to do what was being asked of me. Tears came to my eyes as I thought "She's doing it too. She's selling herself short because she doesn't have the confidence to take a chance." I instantly grabbed for my phone to call Dave. Thankfully he didn't answer which lead me to call my mom, who just so happened to have all the right words that a hysterical mother needed to hear. And as soon as I heard it I knew it was true. She Does have confidence. So much so, in fact, that she felt sure enough of herself to turn down a "starring" role. She knows what she wants and a million lines to memorize is not on her list.
As D later said "Every opportunity that comes along isn't an important opportunity." After talking things out I realized how detrimental this part would have been to our schedule. Who knows when we would have found time to memorize and rehearse! God knew it was something we couldn't take on. And somehow B knew too. I just have to learn to let her trust her instincts.