Recently our 7 year old was chosen to be one of the storytellers from her class to present in front of all grade 1-3 classes, their teachers and invited parents. The stories were retellings of favourite fairy tales and books. Hers was also presented in French because she is in French immersion.
From the beginning, she worked hard to memorize her story and present it in a fun, interactive way. She made up voices for her characters (her book was a Piggie and Elephant story by Mo Willems, a series we love in this house. In French, they are called Emile et Lily!) and she practiced over an over. Her intention was to be chosen.
She was beaming with pride when selected, as were we. We had little intervention in her preparation, we listened when she practiced and helped queue her if she forgot which part she was at, but aside from that and going to the library to pick out and renew her book, we didn’t do much. It was all her. This wasn’t the first project she worked on with gusto, but it clearly was one that was especially important.
As I sat in the school library surrounded by the other parents of the speakers, I reflected on her personality and how I shouldn’t be surprised that she put so much effort into this project and was excited to take centre stage. The rest of us, including her brother and father, don’t typically like to take the spotlight in this way. She’s ready to jump in. Her sense of adventure and intrigue is something that we love most about her.
On this day, she was selected to go first. That in itself is no easy task, and while she said she wasn’t really nervous, I could tell at first she was. She began and it was wonderful. She paused at one point, trying to remember what came next, and while I would have considered quitting or wanting to cry, she remembered and pushed through, taking an extended bow when it was all over.
My heart was bursting with pride and happiness for her. This child has a light that I hope she continues to share with the world and those around her. When it was all said and done that night, we watched the video that I recorded for her brother and dad. She smiled while watching it and when it was done told me she was happy with how well she did.
She should be. She worked hard and it was excellent. Once again, I need to learn from her and push through into my own leaps once and a while. Centre stage may be scary, but she proved it doesn’t have to be avoided.