I’ve written about our challenges with my lovely middle child before. We’ve struggled to find her niche. She has a hard time making friends (and when you are almost 12 that issue is compounded thousandfold). Her natural inclination is to keep her nose in a book. And she hasn’t had the best luck when she reaches out to try new things.
This weekend she entered her first-ever state music competition. She’s been playing the clarinet since school started so she hasn’t been playing long but her teacher thought she was ready for the challenge. Since band has been one of those areas in which we’ve seen positive success, and music is something she’s always loved, we agreed. She was nervous and quietly afraid that this would end up like the other things she’s tried. Not a failure, but far from a rousing success. I reminded her of the value of the experience. I told her I was proud no matter what the judges said. And I told her she should do her best and not worry about what happens next.
I’ll let her taciturn, pulls-no-punches sister’s words speak for what happened: “It was nice to see her finally get something, you know? To be rewarded instead of just getting a participation ribbon.”
It’s like a door opened for her this weekend and there’s a whole new path behind it for her to explore.