Emily and Abby - Hard work paying off beautifully

My daughter Emily is having a blast, working like crazy with rehearsals for Hairspray, in which she is the beautiful, yet evil Velma Von Tussle, the character played by Michelle Pfeiffer in the movie version.

The show is being put on by Spotlight Youth Theater, a phenomenal community theater organization with amazing, talented kids who range in age from 8 to 19. I was thinking how she is now 17, and can only do a couple more shows with Spotlight, until she turns 19 and officially ages out.

She has come so far in her acting, she has worked so hard, has gotten bigger roles with each show and has plans to go off to college for theater production and/or acting. It is a sweet thing to watch as her mom, and a lesson we all can learn from.

When she was about 8 she auditioned for her first show with this theater program (formerly known as Christian Youth Theater or CYT) , Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat.

But she didn’t make it – at first. She cried and cried and said “I’m not good enough….” Oh it went on and on and my heart broke for her.

But the next day the director called and decided to add more kids to the show and she was in!! She never missed a rehearsal, showed up every time in a good positive mood. We as a family had an amazing experience and it boosted Emily’s confidence and, I believe,  really directed her on to this theatrical path she is on now.

Then there is my 13-year-old Abby. Similar story. Two years ago she tried out for the competitive dance team at Dance Force Studios in Huntley. She was devastated that she was put on the team as an alternate. She cried and cried and said “I’m not good enough….” It went on and on and my heart broke for her.

But she worked so hard, never missed a rehearsal, danced all the time at home, practicing her skills, going over and over her routines. She stopped playing outside after school and instead she danced! Seriously. The neighbor kids started asking why Abby didn’t like them anymore. And that wasn’t it at all. She had something she needed to accomplish, so she practiced everyday.

She was then officially put on the team and then made the team again this year and is doing an amazing job. Her coach and myself are so proud of her determination and fight to be the amazing performer she is.  Coach Lori says every time she sees Abby dance, she cannot believe this is the same dancer as last year.

With both girls I saw them defeated by rejection. I held them while they cried. I cried. But, through my own sadness I just told them if they wanted “it” they would fight for it and  no one else could do it for them. And they did it. And they are still doing “it!”

With each girl the experience for me, as their mom, is like watching a sweet, fragrant flower slowly open, petal by sweet, beautiful petal, reaching for the sunshine.

I truly believe they both appreciate their accomplishments even more, because they didn’t come easy. What they wanted, really wanted, didn’t come easy. They each had to fight for their positions in theater and dance and prove they deserved to be part of the show, part of the team.

I think this is an amazing lesson in life and I am happy they have had to struggle a bit to learn and achieve.

I think that although my heart broke when at first they didn’t make the show and make the team, it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. It only made them stronger. They didn’t give up. They fought harder and  people took notice and they were rewarded for good old fashioned hard work and integrity.

What an amazing experience to watch unfold in both of my girls.

At such a young age, they know firsthand that the best things in life are worth the fight.

Keep fighting my girls! I am so excited to see where life takes you from here!

Until next time love each other…..

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    Such a valuable lesson: to learn to work hard for something you desire. My daughter had a hard time with that notion, after all the elementary years of "everyone's a winner", to be passed over for someone more capable than her. She has learned to work hard, keep trying, and practice, practice, practice.

    Good for your girls, and for their successes....and GOOD FOR YOU and TONY, for raising responsible, motivated (near-) adults!

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