I have been SO sick the last few weeks! Sicker than I can remember being in years and years. Just when I’d think I was getting better, I’d suddenly plunge downhill again. I finally went to the doctor and got some antibiotics (I figured it wasn’t viral as I was the only one in the house who was sick) and man, I feel sooooo much better now! I don’t think I’ll wait so long to go to the doctor’s again. Thankfully, I have health insurance though. I have a friend with none and she has to pay ridiculous amounts of money right up front to be seen. It’s shameful. But… that’s not what I wanted to blog about tonight. (Another time, perhaps?)
My point was, this was not the flu. No fever or body aches, just a persistant, awful, miserable cold. Why did this hit me so hard? I am in fairly decent shape, I’m not old (well, to some I am, but I say to those babies, go put your pacifiers back in your mouth and hush)! Why couldn’t I shake this cold? And then it hit me. In the three weeks I was sick I suffered two significant losses. Our dog was the first and though I know plenty of people who don’t mourn for their pets and who would think I am crazy for doing so, I really am grieving for Luna. The other was a loss of a different kind, but it left me no less grief-stricken. I think that I got and stayed so sick because I was ill AND sad and this is a very bad combination.
And then, just when my antibiotic engorged cells were making me feel better physically, something really neat happened that seems to have snapped me out of my mental funk as well. Honestly, right now I am feeling perfectly marvelous and that is a very nice change after a very difficult few weeks. This really neat thing that happened concerns my oldest daughter (I’ll call her Clementine as I am not comfortable sharing her real name. Suffice it to say, it ain’t Clementine)!
Anyway, Clementine is very musically gifted. She plays 3 instruments, reads music fluently, and writes her own songs. She also likes to sing, but I have never paid that much attention to her voice. I knew she could pretty much sing on key, but she was always shy about singing in front of me, so I mostly heard her singing in the shower and in her room through her closed door. As far as I could tell, she had an okay voice. Not great but she didn’t suck either. Just… average. In fact, she told us this year that she wanted to try out for American Idol and we talked her out of it. We were very blunt with her and told her that they were looking for the next Christina Aguilera, and that wasn’t her. That if she had a bad audition, it could be broadcast for sport to a national audience. So she didn’t try out. She knows a girl that did though and she didn’t even make it in to see the judges, and she’s got a pretty good voice. Definitely good enough to see the judges at least, I’d think! (Though she isn’t a freak, so there is that…)
Anyway, then last year Clem tried out for some play or something and she sang Summertime and apparently she was fantastic. All her friends kept telling me what a marvelous voice she had but she would never sing it for me. I even tried to bribe her, to no avail. I put it down to the hyperbole of friendship and thought nothing else of it. Then this year Clem decided to try out for the talent show. She played three songs for me and asked me to pick one for her to sing. I wasn’t familiar with any of the songs (one was a John Mayer one, I remember that) so I picked the one I thought was the prettiest. I had no idea if she could do it justice or not.
Clem made the talent show and then steadfastly refused to sing her song for me. I have no idea why she is so nervous about singing in front of me and not in front of the entire school! To make a long story only a little bit shorter, the talent show was this past weekend. I was SO nervous for her. When she walked out on stage I literally hunched over in my seat and squeezed my eyes shut and prayed “Please don’t suck! Please don’t suck! Please don’t SUCK!”
And she opened her mouth and… blew the fricking roof off the place! My baby can SANG!!!! It was one of the neatest things I have ever witnessed. I had completely underestimated my daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed being proven wrong. It was all I could do not to twirl my panythose over my head and scream “Go Clem, go!!!” and stomp and whistle repeatedly before running a couple or three laps around the auditorium pumping my fists and hyperventilating… perhaps I’ll save that for her graduation from college…
Anyway, so I taped it. Our camera has been thrown about a bit by my kids and is still functional, but the video portion is kind of broken. Suffice it to say, I got an audio tape of her performance, but you couldn’t see anything on the video. I got home and told my husband how good she was and he didn’t believe me. Kind of rolled his eyes and smirked. Suuurrre she is. Uh huh. Sure. So I played him the tape. After 30 seconds he got this big ol’ grin on his face and said in an awed voice, “WHEN did she get good?!” Followed by, “Are you sure that’s OUR Clem?”
I tell you, it was like… it’s like finding out your child has secretly been going to medical school or something, and you find out about it by happening upon them performing complicated surgery out of the blue (well, maybe it’s not EXACTLY like that but I’m sure it’s close…)
So, the next night Sawyer’s aide offered to watch him so we could go to the show as a family and this was marvelous. Clem sang it even better the second night. Then we found out that this local music guru was also blown away by my baby and he has asked her to sing backup vocals on some record! She will get paid good money for this. My baby’s first gig! I am so proud I am about to break out in hives!
I still hope she stays away from American Idol (that show can chew you up and spit you out) but I have learned my lesson. I will never again underestimate my kids or try to talk them out of something they want to do. Sink or swim, they should always be encouraged to try. I thought I was protecting her, but by doing that I was actually holding her back. I don’t know if God wants her to pursue singing, but I wouldn’t be surprised if He does. Clem has always wanted to be a Vet, but lately she’s been talking of double majoring (pre-med and music). The desire is there, the talent is there, the luck and the looks (you KNOW it’s a factor!) are there… who knows?
To sum up, finding out my baby is a sublime singer has both knocked my socks off AND knocked me out of my funk, and I am so very grateful for it.
(Toon to be posted tomorrow. Sorry for the delay again).