Standing Tall

I’ve been meaning to write for a while now about K’s love for the stage. It’s one of those traits that reminds me that some things are just in the genes. Her father loves an audience and clearly that love has been generously passed on to the offspring.

It comes quite naturally to her and so she is regularly one of the chosen few at school for stage competitions. There was her Cat in the Hat, then a kiddie version of extempo speaking, a group song for a festival celebration, a group dance for an academic fest and today a debate. Phew, didn’t realise it was already such a long list.

K was quite excited about being selected for the debate. I could see the confidence in her growing. It was no longer just about remembering her lines and reciting it on stage. She wanted to learn about hand movements, facial expression, eye contact. She clearly wanted to better herself.

Despite my earlier rants, I still can’t get all Tiger Mom about such events. I like to help her and guide her but I really do like to leave it up to her. After every such event at the school I come back wondering if I should have got her to practice more, push till it’s perfect like some parents seem to have done. But just can’t do it. Just can’t enforce my thoughts and views on her so rigidly. Maybe also because she will have none of it! Sure she hears me out and nods politely but finally she does what she thinks suits the situation. And I am fine with that. Let her learn through her own efforts and her own mistakes.

But somehow while this strategy was always sounding right in my mind, there was always the tinge of disappoint that she hadn’t really won in one of these events yet. Today something in the air told me it would be different. And she didn’t let me down. Third best speaker.

K was patiently waiting for the results to be announced. As the first and second prize winners walked up onto the stage, I held my breath. And then I heard her name being called out. The image of her running onto the stage, pride in every step, is still right before my eyes. She flashed me a brilliant smile and I just wanted to hold her in that moment and hug her forever. She did it, on her own and she knew it. Standing tall, so proud of herself, having taken baby steps forward with each shot at the stage, she had wanted it so bad and it was hers!

K, I am so happy for you and my heart swells with pride. And I am so glad the victory is 100% yours. Self-made. All yours.