Every summer, the Missoula Children's Theater touring show comes through Fort Polk (and many other towns), with everything needed to put on a musical. We went this morning to auditions, and two hours later my little fishies were cast in a role! They are performing The Little Mermaid (original, not Disney). Drew is very excited to be cast as a Seahorse. He'll have a song and a dance, and the directors say the Seahorse costumes are the best of all!
Then we have Louisa. A disappointed Sea Scout. The Sea Scouts have even more songs and dances than the Seahorses do. A lot of the 9, 10 and 11 year olds were cast as Sea Scouts. But Louisa, Prima-Donna, was positive she'd get a starring role. She didn't necessarily want the Little Mermaid herself, but she was sure she'd get Queen, or one of the mermaid sisters, or something important like that! Problem was, when they were auditioning, she wan't very loud. And she didn't follow directions. They asked her to say "Everyone come get some ice cream!" with as much enthusiasm as she could muster. She said, "Hey, everyone! Everyone come get some ice cream right now!" That wasn't what they asked for. And although I haven't worked in theater extensively, I have enough knowledge that I know when directors are casting they want to do it efficiently. They want their starring roles to not only be loud, which Louisa wasn't, but to know they will listen the very first time they're told. Louisa is a great listener, but she was trying too hard. I saw her face when they called her name for Sea Scout. I knew she was upset.
One lesson about parenting I'm learning the hard way is that we can't protect them from everything. I'm the one who steps in when they are arguing with their friends to smooth is all over, I'm the one who whips up some hot cocoa (or kool aid!) when Drew gets his little feelings hurt, I'm always there to pick them up when something happens. I know, I know, I need to sometimes just let them be disappointed and get over it on their own. I'm getting there!
So this time, Louisa will have to live and learn from her experience. Next year when the theater group comes through, she'll know what to do and what they are looking for. And I know once she sees what fun the Sea Scouts have with their multiple songs and dances, she'll forget about being sad! She's usually pretty good at realizing what she does have, after that initial disappointment is over.
**UPDATE~ Right after I posted this earlier today I ran to pick Louisa up from her first rehearsal. She was so much happier with the part she'd been given (can I say I told her so?!) She said the Sea Scouts are like the comic relief, and that she had fun practicing. See, I knew she'd be fine!