I had a child audition for a high school concert band opportunity today. SHe has auditioned before...a process that she is not a fan of but realizes the necessity of. Whether or not she makes a band makes no difference to her or me. She is glad to do it because she has a 100 on a portion of her final at the end of the school year and won't have to mess with what some of the others will. I sat in a kind of central location with her coat, stick bag and paperwork she didn't need and people watched. I was kind of uncomfortable at how many people were crying around me. S is a perfectionist I know, but she knows her inability to control her performance anxiety and understands that it hinders greatly her results. Yet she still auditions for all these opportunities, knowing the experience is invaluable. I am in no way proclaiming myself a perfect parent in any way, shape or form, but some of these parents needed to BACK OFF. Ears pressed up to the doors of the audition rooms and looks of complete disappointment when their children came out...it crushed my heart. These kids' faces fell, buckling under the pressure that not only they have put on themselves, but now their parents have placed on them as well. S kept looking at me, looking at them and looking back at me. She sat a little closer and I hugged her and kissed the top of her head. I truly wished I could have given all those kids a hug. "S? I am just proud that you worked and practiced and came here and tried. If you don't get it, don't worry about your do or me. We are just proud you tried." When she had to go to a different hallway to do her timpani and prepared piece, she asked me to walk with her. I sat at one end of the hallway, up against some lockers in a sticky spot while she got in line. Prime people watching. One man stood with his ear to the door, listening to every audition and then gave his critique to the shell shocked student as they walked out of the room, always asking where they went to school and casting judgement upon that individual's band program. I was poised and ready to have words with him if he spoke to my child saying, "Uh, my child doesn't give personal details to strangers, thank you." Luckily, he left right before mine did her last audition. There were moms raising holy hell, excuse my language, with their band directors and other officials saying that participants were using illegal band equipment and they were going to complain to the authorities. Something about extra padding on their mallets or something. Come on, people. I mean, come on.
At least it is done. And she was relieved, got some lunch and moved on with her life. Thank goodness for that.
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