Thursday, 6 December 2012

Talent Quest Psychosis

Kum bay yah anyone? 

Today is the Year One talent quest.  At lunchtime. It's a big end of year thing at school.  The kids love it.  I hate it.

Josh wanted to perform.  First he wanted to do a karate display, then he wanted to do a gymnastics display, then he wanted to sing.

First he wanted to do it with other kids, then he wanted to go solo.

Finally, he chose 'Battlescars' by Guy Sebastian and Lupe Fiasco.

'Great', I said, knowing the only part of this song he has any familiarity with is the chorus.  'Do you know how to rap?' I asked, already knowing the answer.

'No, Mum, but you can teach me', said my little son, showing me for once and ever that he really does think I am an all powerful, omniscient being.

He was shocked and surprised when I suggested that, not being much of a rapper myself, I would struggle to teach him.  I offered to try, over the weekend.  We had this conversation last Wednesday on the way to swimming in the car.  It seemed reasonable then, that I should be able to teach a 7 year old how to rap complex (probably inappropriate) lyrics for a 3 minute song, in just seven days.

In this promise I failed to consider:

1. As I said, I can't rap.
2. We don't even know what the guy is saying.  And although I'm sure you can Google it, I didn't.
3.  Between tball practice, Xmas markets, tball game, tree decorating, Thanksgiving dinner at a friends, Sunday lunch with several families at ours, there just wasn't any rapping practice time.

On Monday, he quietly suggested that he tell his teacher he wouldn't be performing, cause his mum hadn't helped him prepare.

I took the bullet to the heart and said yes.  Because it's true.

So as I type, many little 6 and 7 year olds are performing their little hearts out in the Year One talent quest. Singing 'Call me Maybe', doing a bit of Gangnam Style, who knows what else.  I am not there.  Josh will be in the audience.  I may be in for a bit of a bollocking when he gets home.

And now: My confession.

I have serious issues with the Talent Quest.  I cannot bear watching it.  And it may indeed be this that caused me to not 'find time' to teach Josh.  As well as having no idea how to rap.

I just get all emotional thinking about all the kids, putting their hearts out there, talented or otherwise.  And it's all very well for the ones in big groups, who are well liked or dare I say it...popular.

But what about the kid who no one wanted to do an act with?  Or the kid that everyone normally ignores?  What about the kid who asked if they could be in an act, and the other kids said no?

For every group or act that goes up, there are more, like Josh's, that just didn't get off the ground.  Some parents are willing to hold rehearsals, take them through their paces and get them prepared.  Others just let them sink or swim.  There maybe be others who, like me, are still haunted by their own childhood issues. For me, the thought of my kids performing just sends me into spasms of fear and loathing.

Yes, I know it's NOT about me.  But it makes me all shaky.

I love their confidence, their faith in themselves, and I don't want to squash that, or ruin it for them.  But honestly, it just makes me want to cry (or laugh inappropriately when I'm supposed to be watching composedly).

Which I think means I take it all too seriously (and I'm the basket case, not them).  But neither of my kids has ever been in a large group performance, they've always done solo stuff or small groups.  Which makes them (in my mind) more vulnerable.  And I've been once, to watch Sarah in Kindy.  And that was enough.

Yep, I've got some serious issues, which I need to deal with before Sarah performs in a play she wrote herself, next week with two friends.  Because I don't think I can sit through it.  And she wants me to.  In fact, I think I need to be at the side of the stage with the script for prompting, proper stage mother that I am.  And my job, as her mum is to support her no matter what.  Oh God.

Maybe I need therapy.