Thursday, June 7, 2012

Balancing Fears with Riley

It turns out Riley sometimes reads this blog! She was asking me about one of her birthday posts, where I said that her fearlessness scares me, and if it still scared me.

I told her that I do believe that she makes good choices when she thinks about things, but sometimes, she still gets so caught up in the moment that her impulses can still get her into trouble.

Of course, she asked for an example. Luckily, one had just happened.

She thought it would be fun to walk backwards, and ended up running into someone. It was no big deal and no harm was done. Which is true for most examples I can recall.  But I told her I do still worry that one of these times, it could be a big deal, and I don't want to see her hurt or someone else hurt because of something careless that she did. And nor would she.

But I ended on a high note, and told her that I am confident that when she thinks things through, she will come to the right conclusion. She has shown that time and time again.

And she does have some fear. You might recall that she was very nervous about embarking on her first audition. I didn't want to pressure her, but I had to give her a deadline to make a decision so that she still had time to prepare. She decided before the deadline she wanted to go for it.

She didn't mind singing for me so I could help her pick the best song for her to sing. We watched a scene from the movie that I knew might come up as her scene audition. We talked about clothing.

She'd worked through all her angst. On the day of, she hid her nerves pretty well. It certainly helped that she knew almost everyone there. She didn't want me to watch, and I could barely hear her, but she got through it. She said afterwards that she was very nervous, but I could tell that she was also very proud of herself. Of course, I told her that I was proud of her, too.

I think it was a great experience for her to learn how to work through her fear. She did note that another girl auditioning seemed like a professional, and Riley said she probably didn't have a chance at the featured role they were both going for with that kind of competition, but she didn't seem to mind. She respected this girl's ability and knows that they're simply at different places.

She is thrilled to be in the musical as a member of the ensemble and can't wait for rehearsals to start. I notice, too, that she joins us more often when Sylvia and I will sing along with the CD in the car.

Riley just needs time, it seems. Time to work through her fears, time to think things through. And I love this time I have with her to learn from her. 

1 comment:

BigLittleWolf said...

This is such a toughie, April. We tout "fearlessness" as if it is desirable at all times in all things, and of course, it's not. If anything, with teenagers (who think they're immortal), fearlessness needs to be tempered with a dose of possible consequences.

Sometimes a child has to go through a close call; sometimes they acquire the wisdom through listening and maturing.

All we can do is watch and be near when we can, as best we can. And maybe, hold our breath, and hope they exercise judgment, and they continue to share with us.