Speaking of Doing Hard Things | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Monday, April 18, 2011

Speaking of Doing Hard Things

First of all, I promise not to post about the weather.  Even though that is very hard considering we very nearly didn't make it to church on Sunday because of all the snow and because we took our snow tires off last week, which was clearly a big mistake. But, not going to mention it.  Really.  Because you're all sick of hearing me talk about my never-ending winter.  I know.

Second of all, thanks for putting up with all my mommy bragging about Chloe in the last week, especially if you are my Facebook friend.  Indeed, I am a very proud Mama, and have felt the need to talk about it. A lot. But, you may not know that Chloe is not the only child of mine who has been in a musical in recent times.  Bria was in one, too.  And it might be possible that I am even more proud of what Bria did than I am of Chloe, simply because it was so hard for her, and yet she did it anyway.



Name that Colony
Bria came to this earth with a special set of fears.  As a mother, it hasn't always been easy for me to navigate them, but they are there and I have to be mindful of them.  I also have to somehow help her overcome them, so that she doesn't miss the wonderful things in life because she was afraid.  This may or may not include throwing her into a swimming pool after she refused to get in during two days of swimming lessons (now she swims like a fish), bribing her to do violin competitions and recitals that she would never do of her own volition (she finally doesn't mind playing the violin in front of people), and praying like mad that she would go through with her baptism, even though she was terrified.

When Bria got her 5th grade teacher assignment last summer, she was a little unsure for two reasons.  First, her new teacher had a reputation for giving lots of homework (which hasn't turned out to be so bad), and second, her new teacher is famous for putting on a class musical each year and Bria wanted absolutely no part of such a production.  She has worried about it all year long and last month, it became a reality.

One day, she came home and mentioned that she had tried to sing a solo during the rehearsal and couldn't get through it and started crying.  She was so embarrassed.  I mistakenly thought that she had tried out for the part and was so proud of her for even trying, and told her as much.

A few days later, her teacher emailed me and told me that Bria had been given that part because she has such a lovely voice (she does!) but that she was worried that she was causing her extra anxiety and didn't want to force her to do it if it was going to be terrified.  My mom was in town at the time and talked with her.  I talked with her.  Joel talked with her.  We all could tell that she really WANTED to do it, but she was just scared out of her mind.  But she wanted to try.

And she did.



Pioneer girls
Her first few performances were for other classes at the school, and during the first of them she broke down and started crying while singing her part.  Her classmates were all so supportive of her, which seriously warmed my heart, but it was still hard because she was sure the kids in the audience were laughing at her.  In the end, she and her teacher came up with a twofold plan:  1. She was to look at her friend Danielle while she was singing, instead of the audience, and 2. If she felt that she couldn't go on any longer, she was to squeeze her friend Ann's hand and she would take over the singing.

Picking Berries and Spinning Wool
In the end, she did the rest of the performances without a hitch, even though she sang much more quietly than she is capable of singing.  And I was so freaking proud of her for doing it.

Performing
And guess what?  After watching Chloe this weekend, she's realizing that it might be fun to be up on stage performing, and she thinks she might want to do it the next time an opportunity comes along.  She is so inspiring to me, because when she does hard things, she almost always overcomes her fear of it eventually, and she teaches me that I can do hard things, too.

Because Heaven knows, I have plenty of my own fears to overcome.

18 comments :

  1. Yea for Bria! I have the same fear (well, mostly about singing in public), but I can relate! Good for her for doing something about it at such a young age!!

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  2. Yeah for Bria!!! We all have fears. Sometimes they are much different than her's, but they are all there. We each have to be brave in our own ways. I too and so proud of her to see her work so hard to overcome one of her fears. good for you!!

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  3. Yay! That is so exciting for both you and Bria! I am so glad it went so well. And how inspiring that she wants to try again later. Amazing.

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  4. Our family was "BORN TO SING"! and that's that!

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  5. Awh, proud of her. That's huge.
    And who has fears? ;)

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  6. Awesome! I love the back-up plan. Great idea. Definitely makes the thing easier when you know that there's a way out if you need it. But also a good excuse for someone unwilling to try. Bria WAS willing and that one little step is actually a huge one. She's done it before and she can do it again.

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  7. Something about this post was so close to home for me. I could relate to her feelings. I see those types of fears paralyzing my daughter sometimes. I am incredibly touched that her teacher, her classmates, and her friends wanted to support her and make it possible for her to feel safe. I could just imagine the comfort she felt knowing she could squeeze her friend's hand and get help if she needed it. I love the philosophy of "You try, do your best, and I'll make up the rest." Isn't this what Christ tells us?

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  8. Go Bria! The Colonies looks like my kind of musical. :)

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  9. Totally get her! I can play piano on front of people (after years of being forced) without it being a big deal, but singing? Never!

    Good for her!

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  10. SO wonderful. So great. Please tell her that I sympathize....with my own set of fears that very closely mirror Bria's.

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  11. What an inspiration that girl is. I think she is really awesome! I hope you tell her I said so. Thanks for sharing this because it really brightened my day and got me to thinking that I can do hard things also! It's all in the mindset and how badly we want to do it.

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  12. What an inspiration that girl is. I think she is really awesome! I hope you tell her I said so. Thanks for sharing this because it really brightened my day and got me to thinking that I can do hard things also! It's all in the mindset and how badly we want to do it.

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  13. Love the courage of you daughter and am blown away by the genius and sensitivity of her music teacher!!! As a fellow music/choral teacher I have to say that was absolutely brilliant!

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  14. Very impressive. And what a great teacher she must have to work with her and come up with a plan to help her like that.

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  15. Good for Bria for facing her fears!

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  16. Your daughter is an inspiration to me! Bria overcoming her fears IS something to be so proud of!

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  17. Oh, I feel for her. But she's so brave not only to try, but to overcome each and every one of her fears. And she's lucky to have such supportive parents, friends and teachers to help her through it.

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