Who Needs The Voice?
My family has a new obsession (at least, new to us), and it is the phenomenon known as “The Voice”. Many of you are fans, I’m certain. Some of you may be completely unimpressed with me at this point, either because of our choice in television shows or because I am so far off the power curve. It’s okay. I know how behind the current fads we are – the fact that we have managed to watch two episodes as a family is nothing short of miraculous in my world. I’ll take it, lame or not.
The evenings we watch together are Heaven for me on multiple levels.
- I’m a performer. I love the stage, and have been a dancer and/or singer for most of my life. These shows make my heart happy.
- I’m a music person. I could literally listen to music in some form all day every day and never get tired of it.
- Two of our three kids are currently learning to play instruments, so any chance we have to foster this interest is great.
- It’s family time. We’re all in one room, doing the same thing. It doesn’t happen as often as I’d like, so I celebrate when it does.
- There are no deer, fish, or other wildlife in sight. No one is shooting or casting anything. You laugh, but I’m not kidding.
As we watched the contestants sing their hearts out in hopes of gaining the chance of a lifetime, my husband turned to me with a twinkle in his eye and asked, “What do you think, babe? Would you do well on this show?”
He does that occasionally to tease me and see how close to the surface my inner diva is residing. Before I could respond, all three children jumped in. Their reactions were as distinctive as their personalities.
Emry, my tiny, diva-esque, mini-me immediately began jumping up and down exclaiming, “Oooh, yes, Mommy! Go do the show! Sing for Blake (apparently, she’s got a crush)!”
Drew, my words of affirmation middle child chimed in, “Of course she would do well. She would be amazing! Mommy, you would win the whole thing!” He’s nothing if not loyal…and a bit of an exaggerator.
I opened my mouth to respond with an appropriate level of self-deprecation, and was stopped cold by the observation of my oldest son, Luke, as he said, “Nah. I don’t think you’d do well at all, Mom.”
My inner diva must have been a wee bit closer to the surface than I thought. I whipped my head around, eyebrow raised, and sat straight up with an, “Excuse me?” on my lips as my husband shook with silent laughter.
Lest you think I am totally delusional, let me go on record to say that I am fully aware that I would never win The Voice. I know I am not a professional musician and never will be. Hollywood is not on the agenda. I also know how old I am, and how immature my retort was. Apparently, inner diva has faster reflexes than outer mommy.
Luke hesitated, but after some prompting from me, continued.
“So, Mom, the reason you wouldn’t do well doesn’t have anything to do with your singing (sweet boy, trying to placate mama). I just think you wouldn’t be as into it as all these people, you know? I mean, you’d hate being gone for so long, and leaving us behind while you worked with the coaches and stuff. You’d never do it.”
And just like that, I went from mildly offended to completely overcome.
How could my pre-teen son know how badly I needed to hear those words? How could he glimpse the crux of my insecurities and fallacies as a mom, then so perfectly address them? The answer is he couldn’t. He didn’t. He just spoke the truth as he knows it, painted my portrait through his eyes, and blessed me more than he will ever know.
Oh, how I agonize over this role of motherhood. I worry that I’m messing it up, or messing them up. I get wrapped up in my fears and failings, then grieve over my inability to overcome or wear a better game face. I lose precious opportunities because I’m distracted, or busy, or tired, or just done for the day…then anguish that the missed moment today was the one that I was meant to cling to in order to prevent future disaster.
I constantly wonder, “Am I doing enough? Am I doing this right? Was I good enough today? Will they forgive me that I wasn’t? Will they look back and remember a mother who loved them more than life? Or will their recollections be colored by a mama who was exhausted and cranky and dropping more balls than she caught?”
I want them to know, without a doubt, without exception, that they are the most valuable parts of my life. I want them to know that the love I feel for them is bigger and brighter than anything else on this earth, and that it will never fade…no matter what. I want them to know that I am a flawed and broken human being, but that the best parts of me are represented by each of them….and that broken or not, I will rise up to protect and provide for them every time.
I’d love for them to know this while living in an immaculate and perfectly decorated house in which they eat locally sourced, organic, home cooked meals every night, but let’s be real here. That’s a fantasy we all have to let go of. And, to be frank, not the one that matters to them anyway.
Because what matters to them is that I’m here. I’m doing my best. I’m their mom. This outranks any other title. It’s bigger than superstar status. It’s more valuable than any record deal (or dream, or prize). It’s who God hand-picked me to be, and one of the few roles in life for which I am irreplaceable.
That, my friends, is something to sing about.
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