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Welcome to our first year of high school. My daughter is a freshman and has all honors classes, with promises of double homework. She also has piano, marching band (marching during home football games), and all the friends and Facebook time she can fit into her schedule! (Let’s just say we don’t get a lot of babysitting privileges anymore.)
Imagine my surprise when she announced she was trying out for the school play!
Okay, I thought, IF she makes it we’ll deal with the time issues. I made it clear her grades always come first, and she adamantly maintained she could handle it all.
The thing is I don’t think her Drama Coach got the memo.
For seven weeks, every day after school, she was expected to be there, be on time, be prepared, and never miss a single practice. All this? To be a “Townsperson.” That’s right. She has a small part. But if she misses a single practice she’s been warned she could be kicked out of the play. (Or so she tells me when I complain that it’s all too much!)
We’ve had to reschedule orthodontist appointments. I cartwheel around her schedule to get younger kids to various activities while at a moment’s notice find out I have to drop everything and go pick her up (at 5 0r 6 p.m. or later!). There is no real schedule. Oh, and sometimes Saturdays are thrown in just for fun!?
Do I sound like an unhappy theater Mom? I am.
And I finally lost it, and let her know this is not acceptable.
The crazy schedule, the inflexible rules—it’s all crazy unrealistic.
This was her response and it really threw me for a loop.
“Mom, I’m not into sports. THIS is my thing. If I were on the volleyball team you wouldn’t have any problem with me staying after every day, practicing late, dealing with a neurotic coach. And you know there are times kids don’t get to ‘start’ if they miss a practice. It’s really the same for me.”
Wake-up call to Mom!
I was the kid who WAS into sports. I played team sports all through junior high and high school. I had not compared her insane play practice to a kid on a sports team at all. And believe me, she cares about this every bit as much as I cared about basketball!
Her first performance was this weekend. And we were so proud of her.
Think about what she learned from all this? Perseverance, memorization, stage presence, courage to stand on stage, and a mean new set of negotiating skills to debate an irate mom and a neurotic Drama Coach!
Now guess what? Tryouts for the school musical are in two weeks.
Welcome to Season II, Mom.
L-R, Carissa Roger's daughter, a high school freshman, and a friend, both in character as "A Townsperson" for their high school play.