Being a parent is difficult. Having a child with a talent (or children with different talents) just adds an entirely different dimension and completely different concerns to those the majority of parents have. I am constantly questioning...
How to allow my child to still be a child but at the same time give her opportunities to explore her gifts?
How much to allow her to perform and which venues are best?
Which people in our lives are good for her and which do I need to steer clear of?
How do I keep her mentally healthy...not allow her to think too highly of herself and become a monster child but at the same time keep her confidence high? I love who she is, that blend of confident and sweet, and don't want her to change.
Then there are the other members of the family and their needs to consider. Life cannot be only about the one child getting all the attention at the moment.
Sometimes my insides feel like they will explode thinking about it all. Every decision I make has a consequence. It seems like every opportunity Haley has leads to another opportunity like a snowball on a huge hill rolling down getting bigger and bigger. Thank goodness for those times when we hop off and things are status quo for a bit.
The good thing about most of the opportunities lately is that they involve all the kids playing together so it is more a family thing. I feel better about that.
We are very lucky/blessed to have wonderful people in our lives...Haley's teachers, friends, and others we have met in the music world who seem to have all my kids' best interest at heart.
Haley's violin teacher said some very wise words to her the other day when we were discussing opportunities. I'll paraphrase a bit... they are wonderful, exciting, and great at the moment and the anticipation before but don't think of them as turning points or let them change who you are as a person. If people comment about you or your playing saying you are "great" or "amazing", you are still the same person and the same musician with the same talents and challenges. Those comments don't make you any better. The same if they don't notice you or pick you to win a competition or chose you in an audition...you are still the same person and the same musician. It does not make you less in any way. (Don't know if Haley understood the significance of those words but hopefully they will be in her head.)
There have been a few people along the way who have promised things we weren't ready for or tried to get involved when we didn't think it best but those instances have been rare so far. I am not a "good" stage mom...not good at promotion but I am a pretty good judge of character and tend to be more suspicious than not in most situations.
Things are a bit crazy right now so I am questioning and worrying more than usual. Haley and the boys have a number of different opportunities and possibilities coming in the next month...March is a big month for Irish musicians.
I don't know the answers to my own questions so we are just taking it one day at a time, one decision at a time. Hopefully I will make the best ones for my family.