I was so proud of MiniMe as she performed in her first "broadway-like" production this summer. The drama camp she attended put on a production of Annie at the end of July. This hour and a half long production with music, singing, dancing, props, costumes, the works, was all put together by the students and their instructors in only 3 weeks. They did a fantastic job!
I faced one of my greatest challenges to date as a mom at the start of drama camp. MiniMe had high hopes of landing a certain part during auditions. When I picked her up the day the parts were announced, I knew it had not gone her way. She was scowling and didn't say hardly one word on the drive home. When I asked if she wanted to talk about it she said "Not right now." The only thing I got out of her was that she didn't get the part she wanted.
When we got home she took off to her room upstairs and closed the door. I waited about 10 minutes then quietly knocked on her door and asked if she wanted to talk. "No, not right now" was the answer again.
What to do? I knew big disappointment was looming and had not a clue on how to help my child deal with it appropriately. I actually Googled "helping your child deal with disappointment" and read everything I could find.
About a half hour later she walked into my office and fell into big heaving sobs in my lap, her little shoulders shaking. She said she got assigned the part of an "extra orphan" and that she'd looked through the script and didn't even see the name of her orphan in the script anywhere. I suspected they had more kids than parts and so had created some roles for kids.
She said that worst of all, they had called all the kids together and announced everyone's parts at the end of the day and she had been embarrassed in front of her friends when they got better parts than her.
Embarrassment. Disappointment. Anger. Frustration. Sadness. All emotions I had to help my little one deal with at the same time. We talked and talked. I listened. Didn't try to tell her what to do, just acknowledged her feelings. As hard as it was, I was proud of the fact that not once did she say she wanted to quit the play. She was hurt but had decided to soldier on.
In the days and weeks that followed I saw so much positive attitude in my child. Every few days she came home and announced that she'd been given another small background role and by the time the play was upon us, she was in nearly every scene and had 3 costume changes. She enjoyed every minute of it and did a fantastic job, even if she didn't have a solo or speaking part.
She had her own cheering section at the performance. Mom, Dad, Grandmas, a great-grandma, and several friends. Her performance was great and I guess my performance as a mom wasn't so bad either.