The Part

As much as you will hate it, it is extremely good for you to not always get what you want.

My daughter just got the news that she didn’t get the part. She practiced, she rehearsed, and she auditioned her heart out – but it went to someone else. It went to someone else totally reasonably, too: the other girl has been with the theater company longer, is a bit older, has more experience overall, and had a stronger audition. There’s nothing wrong with the decision, except that my darling and precious daughter didn’t get what she wanted and therefore I am a burning ball of rage and despair.

But I’m holding it back.

Because this is good. It’s probably breaking my heart a thousand times more than it breaks hers, honestly. The hardest thing for me right now is to avoid trying to fix – to immediately leap in with ham-fisted attempts to give her actionable advice that she won’t take and doesn’t need. Instead, I told her I loved her, that she’s going to crush the performance in the chorus, and that undeniably I will be there no matter what.

She’s ten. When you’re ten, you need ten-year-old disappointments. It builds your tolerance. The worst thing that can happen to you as a kid is if nothing bad happens to you as a kid. Because then you’re going to have a really, really rough time as an adult.

She’s resilient. She’s incredible. She will grow and thrive – and sometimes she won’t get the part. But that’s what will make her whole.

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