She started playing the piano in September and had been practicing for her June recital for months. She could play the music in her sleep. As I stood behind her curling her hair on the big day, I watched as her tiny fingers tapped in time on the table. She hummed the tunes to herself quietly as she played the imaginary keys, just like I used to do.
She is only six and I was so nervous for her. What if she was scared when she got up there? What if she froze with all those eyes on her? How could I help her from my place in a sea people? I remember well that butterfly feeling, that anxious anticipation whenever I performed on stage. Was she feeling it? I sure was.
“Are you nervous?” I asked her.
“No.” she answered matter of fact without skipping a beat.
When it was time to leave she was jumping up and down, a ball of excitement. She was ready.
Before the show started I found myself whispering words of encouragement, desperate to show my support. “You’re going to be great, just do your best, keep going if you make a mistake, and enjoy yourself up there.”
I’m not even sure if she heard me; she exuded confidence and strolled right past me, head high as if to say, “I so got this, Mom.”
And she did. She was wonderful. I’m not sure if I breathed the entire endless minute that she was on stage. She was so happy, so proud of herself. I sat back and wondered in awe of my little girl, so self assured, so knowing, so comfortable in her own skin. I’ve seen glimpses of it before, but in that moment I sat blinking at the undeniable proof that she is so much braver than I ever was, and my fears are not hers; never have been.
The force is strong with this one, and in that knowledge I take great comfort.