Letting Her Be

I’m up at 2am.  I don’t know if I’m actually getting “sick” or if this is just food poisoning. All I know is that 2 sips of water is enough in my stomach to send me to the bathroom to puke.  And I’ve got it “running” out of me, too.  M.I.S.E.R.Y.

So I’m trying to distract myself, I thought I’d blog about Selah.  My big girl. My beauty.  She’s always been dramatic, in a good way. Not a little diva at all.  Well, ok. She can be that, too, at times.  But when I say dramatic I mean as in acting, and taking on characters.  Still at almost 8 years old she is constantly playing dress up, giving everyone characters..acting, acting, acting.

One day at 3 1/2 years old she came to me and said that when she is 10 she is going on Dr. Phil to sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to him.  I laughed and explained to her that is not what his show is for.  She persisted.  For about 5 years. Yeah. She’s still thinks that is going to happen. What bothers her mother is the idea that the only way it would work out is for a sympathy stunt if she gets cancer or something. Dr. Phil would love to milk that. Mommy? No.

When she was 4, we let her take dance for a year  and she was thrilled because she will be a star some day.  At 5 she asked for voice lessons for her birthday. We compromised and told her that we would start with piano.  For her 7th birthday this year she asked for acting lessons.  I looked into it. It looked expensive, time consuming and like a recipe for hanging out with a bunch of moms who I have NOTHING in common with and kids who I do NOT want influencing my daughter.  I came up with a compromise.  I didn’t have my first go at acting until I was 9, so if she persisted we would meet in the middle and go for acting at 8. And I got her some books on creative writing (which she also has a great knack for) and tried to paint the picture of how cool it would be to WRITE for films or TV, instead of just being an actor.  No go.

Oh, and the Dr. Phil thing?  I finally figured out that he did a show around that time on horrible stage moms, and she saw a clip from the commercial of a girl singing on the show.  She still thinks she can convince him somehow..

I feel like a bad mom. She’s made it very clear for years that she has an interest in this. It’s not that I’m straight out telling her no. I’ve never belittled her for the desire. I just don’t want her to do it.  Stage moms suck.  Rejection sucks. The odds of her getting anywhere with this are pretty slim, and going nowhere with it is still going to be a lot of work.  But I have to be honest that if she were showing this much interest in anything else I would have jumped on it a long time ago.  Dance, gymnastics, horses, writing, just about anything. Oh wait. Not cheerleading. I’ll take the acting over that, I guess.  Anything else I would be encouraging and supporting her. Why not this?

I don’t want her to get sucked into mainstream ideas about her body and her value as a woman.  I don’t want her to face the failures that are bound to happen. I’m not naive enough to think that I have the next Dakota Fanning of anything.  But she loved doing this, and I’m holding back on it because of my own issues.  It’s not like we’re going to make a career for a 7 year old.

She’ll be 8 next month. I’ve already settled on letting her take an acting workshop for her birthday, to see how she likes it.  I was ready to go from there.

But then this week a friend called me. Her husband is producing a short  for a Christian speaker and really wants to use Selah. I’m surprised at how quickly I jumped on it. I guess it’s an opportunity for her to experience a little, in a safe environment?  Also, when I saw the script it was clear that the small part is perfect for her.  So, I woke her up the next morning and asked her if she would like to do it. Did she ask about strangers?  Did she worry about being shy or stage-fright? Nope. That child popped up in bed and said?  “Wait, do you know the name of my character yet?”   Who thinks that way?  My daughter is fearless.  And her level of focus jumped way over what my first hurdles would have been.

She got out of bed, took her shower and I had her sit on the floor for a few quick “Headshots” to send the producer before going to school.  I sent the photos in, they have her height and size  and we’re set for call time on Monday.  She’s on cloud nine. I’m on the watch to see how this works out…. I have to let her be, well, HER.  Finding and encouraging who she is,  and at this point I have to acknowledge that this little desire in her heart is real. Cultivating her talents, not training her to mine.

And as a little side note, the Dave Ramsey groupie inside of me is fully aware that if this works out even in a small way, a few hundred dollars in a ROTH IRA for a 7 year old could end up suuuWWEEETTT when she’s retiring as an adult. Yeah, I know. I overthink things. But if she is earning her own $$ it is legit….  So if you’re reading this and have any advice, experience or tips to share on how to support her, I’m all ears or eyes. I mean, I’ll be reading your responses, right?

And now, I’ll go back to my time at the porcelain shrine of puking. Thanks for letting me blab about my girl for a break.  Bleck.







Filed under Candid Kid-versations

2 responses to “Letting Her Be

  1. And……
    Selah is getting it now, of all 4 of them. This is causing some SERIOUS devastation to her little heart. She’s sleeping with Emergen-C in one hand and her script in the other, praying that she’s better by tomorrow. I’m feeling a tiny bit better already, so there’s hope.

  2. Naomi Fowler

    Oh Selah, I almost feel like I am reading my own child-hood story, you are a good bit more encouraging. All I have to say though is if you try and do what Mom and Dad did, we are gonna have a chit chat– because ballet has NOTHING to do with karate and sign-language, which is what I took until I could help teach classes to pay for my dance. I guess it was a good life lesson, and I learned how to work for my hobbies.
    But maybe we could just fine a way to do a small amount of acting. I know that is hard though, because no matter what you do sooner or later she is going to be exposed to the worlds reality and the jaded view of what a true woman is. I think that you do an amazing job and being honest with her about realities and making sure she knows she is loved and beautiful!!

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