My seven year old daughter, who I affectionately refer to as a diva, announced to the family that she is auditioning for her school talent show. She is going to sing Let It Go with a friend. This should be interesting as she does have a little singing talent but it definitely needs to be tamed a little. I heard her practicing a few days ago and offered a few tips which is laughable in itself because I can’t sing a lick. I proceeded to tell her that it sounded a little flat and might be better if she did this or that and how she needed to keep practicing so she could do her best and people would like her performance. Sounds innocent, right?
Her next few comments made me really think about things. It made me question what I was doing to my child with those comments and how comments like this have shaped my life over the years. My daughter, with seven long years of wisdom, said to me…”Why does it matter if people like my song? You shouldn’t care what other people think as long as you are happy with yourself. As long as I am happy with my song, who cares? I don’t care what other people think, Mom. I am happy with my song the way it is.”
I stopped what I was doing. What could I say? She was right. She was exactly right. I think even shed a little tear. She has mastered what I have spent 3 decades trying to do… not caring what other people think and just being me. I then started to think if this confidence she possesses is something that we all have at birth but somehow lose along the way. Why do we care what people think? Why do we work so hard to put together the perfect life just so we can brag about it on Facebook or at dinner parties or at class reunions? Why is the appearance that we have it all together so important that we fake it to the point it destroys the very thing we are trying to accomplish? Were my comments to her in danger of ruining this amazing feeling and pride she has about herself?
Now that I am nearing 40, I have been trying to re-evaluate my life and how I live it. I have been trying to embark on this new journey of self awareness and learning just to live and breathe. Some days I feel as though I am making progress and then there are days like this one when I realize that middle aged woman with the low self esteem is rearing her ugly head again. I am not sure what changes our feelings about ourselves. Maybe it is constant judging we women tend to do to one another. It seems we are all in constant competition with each other and if we feel as though we are losing, the claws come out. We attack silently and stealthily with comments that seem innocent on the surface but are meant to tear each other down.
No more! I refuse to let my daughters become the scared almost 4o year old woman that I have become. Life is about experiences, fun, and love of others and of ourselves. The best way to ensure my girls continue to think they are amazing is to encourage them to keep living. Make decisions for themselves not for others and be proud of those decisions regardless of the outcome. Don’t let people offer so called “advice” that just makes you feel bad. Shrug it off and keep doing things for you. Be yourself whether people like it or not because at the end of the day it only matters if you are happy with yourself.
Auditions for the school talent show are this week and I will be interested if my baby girl makes the cut but I know that no matter what happens she will come out a winner. She will have challenged herself and went for something she wanted. She will step on that stage proud, not caring about what the rest of the room thinks. She will belt out that song that she has sang thousands of times with all of its little gems of wisdom tucked inside. A song that tells little girls to let go of what the world thinks you should be and just be who you want to be.
It’s amazing what we can learn from our kiddos when we just listen! Thanks Miley! You helped Mommy more than you know!