This last week has been a whirlwind of excitement for my son and our family as we focused on his dreams instead of mine. American Idol auditions.
It started with a simple press release I sent out last Monday with the hope that some local media would respond to the subject line: Local Teen Wins Dream Ticket to American Idol Auditions This Summer. Then the calls and emails started coming in and as of this writing he’s been interviewed for the newspaper, radio,and television several times.
Here’s a snippet of the newspaper article by reporter Rita Sherrow:
While visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, the 17-year-old and his cousins spotted the American Idol Experience…
“We thought, ‘It sounds like fun, so let’s try that out,’ ” Conroy said in a recent interview. “We were all surprised when I won.”
At the end of the day, the winners from all the previous rounds were invited to sing again. Conroy performed “Stand by Me,” a classic song he had never heard before that day and one to which he added his own “pop twist.” The audience liked what they heard, and he won a golden ticket to move to the head of the line for the “American Idol” auditions…All the daily winners of the “Experience” are invited to try out for the real thing.
It was an exciting interruption in my life and as you read this we have concluded our Idol journey. It didn’t work out as we hoped, and we are processing everything knowing God has a purpose and is in control. I will share more pictures and specific details in a post to come, but through this whole process I learned a few things that I will touch on briefly here, then write out more thoughts in a future post or two.
Sometimes Being Helpful isn’t Helpful
I took it upon myself to send out press releases thinking my son would enjoy the media attention, and he did, but there were other repercussions I didn’t anticipate. I also gave him unsolicited advice from time to time which only stressed him instead of helped him. I’m still learning what a parent’s support role to an almost 18 year old looks like!
Being Hopeful is Different Than Being Expectant
I’m still learning this balance. On the day of the audition a tv reported asked me about my expectations. I rambled off something like “I have no expectations and just wish for my son to do his best.” In retrospect that wasn’t completely honest. At the time I didn’t know it. We all had expectations of him making the first round auditions. And he didn’t. More thoughts to come later…
Sometimes Failures Lead You Down a Different Path
Even though we didn’t make it past the first round auditions, an other opportunity has already presented itself to my son, and I’m a tad envious and very excited for him. I’ll share more when I have more details.
A Child’s Disappointments Are Often Felt Hard by Parents
I touched on this a while back, but I didn’t expect to be hit this hard again. I think it goes back to my unintentional expectations of him getting through to round 2, and he didn’t. But his “rejection” just intensified my own writing rejections I’ve felt over the years. I’m still dealing and processing with all the emotions of that and the weekend Idol experience.
When Disappointments Hit Hard Offer Space and Grace
Whether you’re a parent or a kid, when disappointments hit we need to give each other space. I know when I’m dealing with a rejection I want to be left alone and so that’s what I tried to do with my son. I also offered grace as my family needs to do with me when I get a writing rejection. A lot of ugly oozes out of our rejection sores, but I tried to remind myself it’s only the hurt talking and I’ve oozed my fair share or ugliness.
Yes, our Idol experience is over and once again if we were completely honest with ourselves, it never really was my son’s “dream.” In fact, if he hadn’t won the Dream ticket, he might not have auditioned and the perks were sweet.
Having the Dream ticket opened up new doors for him, but it could have been the thing to lock that Idol door. (More on that later) Then again, if Idol was not part of God’s plan for his life, better to keep that door locked!
Now your turn:
How do you deal with your child’s disappointments and rejections? What have your learned?