She Already Won

“I audition Monday!” My middle daughter announced proudly as she and her backpack flounced into the front seat.  I cringed inwardly as she babbled excitedly about trying out for the elite honor choir that only selects a few highly skilled children from the grade school.  I was all at once aware that I needed to encourage, celebrate her excitement, and carefully ready her for reality.

How do I prepare her sweet heart for disappointment?

She spent the weekend playing the song. Over and over.  I heard her testing her pitch.  She kept asking Google to find her starting note.  The outfit was picked, her hair must be curled, and she was out the door before anyone else in the family to make sure she was ready and waiting for her early audition.

She felt great about her performance. 

This  daughter came to us as a teeny foster baby from a hard place. Her beginning was brutal, and she fought against all odds to develop and thrive.  My heart is a little more fiercely protective of this one.  I knew she wouldn’t be selected, and it gnawed at me. 

She has enough loss in her story. 

A week passed.  Maybe she’ll forget.  No word.  Then, as an afterthought, on her way out the door to play she called out, “Mom, I didn’t make the choir.” I rushed to the door and called her back.  I had to ask how she felt and if she was ok.  “Oh, Mom!  I’m not mad!”

“I did it!  I found my brave, I auditioned, and I’m really proud of myself!”

My mouth hung open as she dashed across the road to her friend’s yard.  All this time I’d been seeing it all wrong.  I got the important part twisted. 

She already won when she found her brave.

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