So, all I wanted to do was blame Jack Black.
He came into our home alongside for the first time in over 10 years, a television. Moving images are different these days and there are so many channels now. ABC owns no less than 4 of them. And as we are probably the only home in the developed world without Netflix, our favourite channel is not known by an acronym, or a number, or a combination of the 2 – but by a verb .
It’s a channel we refer to as “Go”.
“Go” shows movies. Lots of them. Movies that are kinda long because they are freckled with ads. Lots of them. And because my small people have never really seen many movies, or many ads, we watch 90 minute cinema flicks stretched out over the course of 2 and a half long hours. Every. Sunday. Night.
A few months ago, “The School of Rock” was on channel Go. Jack Black and his hard-core rock out ways proved to be a strong influence on my 3 smalls. My wingman began to gel his hair and throw all the couch cushions on the floor so as to stage dive a mosh pit. My eldest wise one began borrowing guitar books from the library and taught herself “G”. And my middle red began asking for acting lessons. She told me she felt that inside, she was made to be a star. Just like the kids on the screen of school with Jack Black. After a couple of weeks post Black, my wingman’s gel washed out and we could see the lounge room floor again, while my eldest wise one switched back to classical guitar. But my middle red kept asking me about how she could live her now realised deepest heart’s dream. That being how could she become a star on the stage.
I did what any parent with no musical or acting ability would do, I asked Facebook. I was answered with the suggestion that rather than spend 2 hours somewhere in Geelong every week pretending to be acting, that we simply try for the real deal and audition for a show. I agreed that this seemed a more intelligent use of our time.
Soon, along came a call-out for an interest to audition.
It was for a stage part in a local theatre show.
We answered the call-out and went along to the show information evening. A show that my smalls had never seen and knew nothing about. There were over 300 people in the room, mostly other eager small ones. All tuned into hearing about singing and dancing with make up and costumes. We were told they were looking for a show lead and a grouped children’s ensemble. My middle red whispered to me, “I want to audition for the main part.” And as a back-hand after-thought, my eldest wise one said that she may as well too.
We signed up for the 5 minute singing audition which was to be held a week later. We were told to be prompt, bring sheet music and remember to smile. Because I was a bit pressed for time, I squashed both of my no-acting-experience smalls into a single audition slot. Meaning each had two and a half minutes to be prompt with their sheet music and smile. They were both asked to come along to a group audition a few days later. So they could show off some dancing with their prompt singing and smiling. I picked them up later that afternoon and went home to begin promptly forgetting about their first ever attempt at the stage. Because now I needed the focus to fall on Christmas. And before that day falls, I have a crap-load of things to do.
I received a phone call while I was in bed later that same night. A voice saying that he was calling on behalf of the theatre group casting the stage show. He said while both my small ones were fabulously talented, there was one that they just weren’t kind of looking for. He asked if I would be OK if only one of them went through to be cast in the show. He said it wouldn’t be the main role, but part of the grouped children’s ensemble. Holding the weight of my heart in my quiet voice, I asked him which one of my small girls they had cast with a part.
He replied to me that my eldest wise one had been chosen.
Meaning that my middle red had not.
The weight of my heart drop into the pit of my stomach.
Because despite knowing now pretty much every line from Jack Black’s “School of Rock”, I didn’t know what I could say to make anything here right.
Think standing strength, throat openers and metta mediation (loving kindness).
An all powerful calling of our role as matriarchs and mothers is to nurture and honour those that you hold in your soul. To give your small ones every opportunity to have the spaces to realise their dreams and to save them from the pain of life’s inevitable losses. You want to shield them from the schoolroom with it’s potential space of frenemies while you teach them how to honour their own strength and moral compass. You want to save them the bruises of lessons that you had to figure out for yourself while you want to show them that the goal posts aren’t always going to be where they expect them to be. You want to teach them about rejection, about being hurt and about loss – without them actually having to feel any of it. And while we strive to teach our small ones about the way of the big wide world, part of those teachings are the realisation that all their dreams won’t necessarily come true.
And that sometimes, – even though it is completely un-intentional – our sister will step up into what we dreamed would be our spotlight on the show.
I suppose as I hang with my small ones, I want for them to grow up to be a shiner example of what I am myself. I want for them to always believe deeply in themselves and to never doubt any aspect of their process. I want them to not be afraid of dreaming their dreams large and to opening their hearts wide. I want them to spread their arms to their whole experience and then hang on tightly for their ride. And most importantly, I want them to know that I’m woven there with them through their dreams. That I am connected far deeper than words can explain to their soul. And that even though life seems hard to understand sometimes, that I am always there to hold their fragile heart.
Today I learnt that part of being a matriarch and a mother, is to let those you hold in your soul know that sometimes their dreams didn’t come true. So, I stroked my middle red’s hair as I told her the news about the show. She had a little cry. She asked me what she did wrong. She asked me why she wasn’t chosen, yet her sister who stood next to her was. And I answered her with the weight of my heart that I didn’t have any answers. And that we will never really know. Then she stared at me for a really, really long time.
Finally, she broke our silent gaze and she told me she was really proud of her sister. It made the weight of my stomach lift so fast it hurt. I was so concerned with trying to avoid the pain that follows losses, that I had forgotten to celebrate the accolades of my eldest with her success. I confided to my middle red that the best dreams that we have are the ones that we believe are worth fighting the hardest for.
And that if ever there was a gutsy follower of a deepest heart’s dream,
it was her.