OK, so it goes down like this...

Saturday Maddy, Levi and I get up bright and early, drive to my folks home in Gilroy and walk to the Garlic Festival. Once there we barely have a chance to buy a headband with a crown on the top and a frozen lemonade before a temptress in the Kids Zone sings her siren song, "Hey, do you want to enter a talent contest?" She waves 3 lyric sheets in Maddy's face and asks her to pick one and sign on the dotted line and our weekend is forever changed.

At 4:30 we come back to the designated children's area - and I have to interject here that at 11:00 am when we wandered in this exact place it was cool and breezy, the kids were fresh faced and well behaved, the parents patient and wanting to spend some quality time with their precious offspring. At 4:30, not so much.

It's blisteringly hot. I can't swing a dead cat without hitting 5 sweaty, filthy, cranky, garlic-scented kids screaming and whining and demanding more sugar-crack-shaved-ice. Parents are beer and garlic scented, exhausted and weary and equally whiny. Also, Maddy is so hot and nervous that I think she might throw-up. Fun!

After the emcee blatheres on for 40 minutes (you'd think I was exaggerating this point, though I am not) Maddy is the first on the stage. She had selected "Rock Star" by Smash Mouth. She stands up straight, sings her heart out and does a great job. Then she has to turn to the judges. That's right. Cause this is "Idol" style. Now let's be clear, had there been a Simon in the bunch I would have knocked his ass flat in the dirt. Luckily for them, no harsh comments. Compliments all around. Maddy leaves the stage. And promptly bursts into tears.

See, singing is not her forte. Don't get me wrong, she can sing. She can carry a tune and emote and has wonderful rhythm. But her preference is dance. If she had had time and been prepared she would have danced. But there, in that place at that time, so nervous and hot, with no tap shoes and none of her own music, with such limited choices, she sang. And she didn't feel great about her own singing. What can you do?

Deep breath. This is why parents earn the big bucks, if you know what I mean. This will be a humbling experience and we will all be fine and I just need to help my daughter to stand up straight and walk through this even though she is feeling very uncomfortable right now. I am sad and proud all at the same time. Because I want her to have successes, but the losses are so important too. They help to define us as people. They make us stronger and kinder and more compassionate. She can do this and I'm here to help her.

So, after I comfort her, tell her she was great, I then explain to her that we have to support all of the other contestants. We sit ourselves down on a hay-bale and watch singing and dancing and juggling and karate. The judges vote. All of the contestants are invited on to the stage. They are thanked and fawned over. You're so great and awesome, etc, etc... The top three will be invited to come back tomorrow and perform in the final competition for the title of champion, blah, blah, blah. Everyone is nervous. Fidgeting and wiggling abound.

And they call her name.

And what I know in that very instant is that this experience, this humbling and learning experience, has just turned into something else all together. It's gonna be a blood bath. I mean that in a in a 9 year-old, poised and polite, festival in a park, kids talent competition way. Cause tomorrow she's not gonna sing. Tomorrow she's gonna dance. And dancing is her forte. She's going to bring her A-game. Cause that is how she does it. And these other two finalists, this brother and sister from Gilroy, they're never gonna see it coming. I feel a little bad for them.

Of course, I video-taped the whole she-bang. In my complete video, when the winner is announced, (and make no mistake, she was the winner) you can see from behind the shock of the Gilroy kids' friends. They had tons of friends and family there. They all thought one of the local kids would win.

And I'm the out-of-town bitch who showed up with the ringer. Nice.

Here is the short version. So you can see for yourself.

1 comment:

Lisa Garvey said...

I loved this story (and the video)! Maddy, you go. The hat was a nice touch. :)