Last Monday I took Alyssa to watch the high school choir and band concerts. It had been assigned as ‘homework’ to all of the junior high choir members to attend this concert. I think the choir director was trying to drum up an audience for the concert but whatever, there we were.
There is a freshman flute player who is amazing. As a freshman, she’s already the section lead. This freshman, let’s call her Harmony (Buffy shout out!!) also plays the piccolo and sings, as was evidenced during the concert, during which she had two solos (there were all of three songs…just saying.)
It should also be pointed out that Harmony’s mom also played the flute and Harmony has been receiving private lessons since she was seven. I know this because I spent an hour each way on a bus with her mom last year and well, what do band mom’s talk about other than their kids?
So yeah, Harmony is only a year ahead of Alyssa.
On the way home from the concert, Lyss mentioned the number of singing and flute solos Harmony had that night.
I shrugged and said, “Yeah, she’s pretty good.”
We drove in silence for a bit and then I said, “You know you can’t compare yourself to her, right?”
“Oh, I know,” Alyssa assured me.
But I wasn’t assured. I mean, Lyss works so hard, has so much talent and there’s Harmony over there with just as much talent and she obviously works hard too. And she’s a year older, so she’s got that working for her.
But I had to try and remind Alyssa of how amazing she is, without any comparison to Harmony in the mix.
“I’m sorry Harmony’s only a year older than you are,” I said with a bit of a laugh.
“Yeah,” Lyss joined me in laughter. “She’s going to be there until I’m a senior!”
“But you know that no matter how good she is, that doesn’t make you any less good, right?” I said.
She gave that some thought and then brightened up a little. “You’re right. She might be good but so am I. Just because she’s section lead doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be if she weren’t already there. And really, it helps that she’s older. I mean, imagine being one of the senior flute players and having that freshman come in and take your place? At least I KNOW she’s always going to be there.”
“And her being there doesn’t diminish how hard you work or how talented you are.”
“I know!” And this time, I was reassured. My girl’s strong sense of self-worth was fully intact.
Now…if only I could practice what I preach.