Sadly, I received an email just this morning from my editor at Blissfully Domestic sharing that she has stepped down due to personal reasons. This post was scheduled to be posted today, but in her absence, didn't. Not sure who will be picking up the editor position of the Family Bliss channel at the site, so until then, I'll post my stories here. OK, just a minute after posting this, my story went live on the site. So, either read it here or there. Doesn't matter where. Just read it.
“Mommy, tell me a story from when you were little.”
This is a frequent request from my daughter who enjoys hearing of my childhood experiences. These requests tend to come right before lights out.
She is well skilled at placing me in the spotlight in an attempt to stall her inevitable bedtime.
I cave. Every time. I like the spotlight.
Recently, I shared a personal story of perseverance, both as a means of bonding with her and to communicate how each of us has the ability to continually pursue what we love.
I was a theater kid. Community, dinner, professional theater, and commercials. As a child, it was rare to find me without a stage. My daughter is very different from me - in this respect. She has never shown interest in performing, nor have I encouraged her to follow after me. As a private coach for young actors, I know all to well how performing must be the choice of the child – not the parent.
And while she doesn’t share my level of interest in performing, I have found that I can use my childhood experiences from theater to teach her the value of perseverance.
As in the case of Bobby Philips.
I had just completed a horrible audition for The King and I. I can’t remember the details of what made it sub-par, but even then, I knew enough to realize that I may have botched getting cast in the coveted role of Princess Ying Yawolak – the only princess with a name and actual lines.
Thus, my mom and I concocted a plan. I was hesitant at first, but I knew that one day I could share this teachable moment with my children.
What?! No! The idea was completely insane.
The next day, a boy named Bobby Philips auditioned for The King and I. He had pizazz. He had flair. He projected and sang with gusto and character. He was magnetic.
He was wearing a wig.
And he was a she.
He was me.
I used an old wig from my 3 month stint playing one of Fagin’s Gang in Oliver, to disguise myself as a boy and re-audition under a different name. And a different sex - which could have made clinching the role of the Princess a bit tricky.
Thus, at the end of the audition I whipped off my wig.
I got the role.
My daughter was stunned. I think, having seen my scrapbooks, she always assumed that any type of performing came easily to me.
Sharing this story helped her to see that even I experienced moments when failure stared me down.
And I stared back. In my wig.
Don’t hesitate to share personal childhood experiences with your children.
Whether it’s a mistake you once made, or a hurdle you jumped, sharing a personal story with your child helps them get to know you better, and to see that even YOU have hit speed bumps along your journey. And yet, you still managed to make it to adulthood! Good job!
Photo by BigPru