My husband laughs at my love for American Idol. He cracks up when he sees tears streaming down my face when a contestant leaps out of the room holding a golden ticket up for all his/her friends and family to see.
He cannot believe it when I feel badly for the contestants who sing their hearts out to the judge’s disapproving scowl. But, still, even though we have more than one television set, my husband has watched American Idol with me for five seasons, so I am convinced he is secretly invested in the “hopefuls” too.
And, I don’t feel like a mush for no reason. Really, when I think about it, the show gives singers a great opportunity to fulfill a dream. It’s inspiring to see the “back story” of the girl who grew up without a family, and with the belt of a fabulous Aretha Franklin tune, she is headed to Hollywood with a world full of supporters!!
I think it’s only natural that I would love a show that inspires people, and makes us believe that in the blink of an eye, with tenacity and talent, we can accomplish anything we set out to do.
As you probably know, we have 2 little munchkins, and when LuLu was born, we painted on the wall in her bedroom, in big bold letters, the famous Eleanor Roosevelt quote:
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
So, then of course, the discussion comes up with the husband. You know, the discussion provoked by American Idol weeks 1 and 2, where they show the best and the, well, the opposite of the best. It leads to a debate about parents encouraging their children, even if the child isn’t necessarily cut out for whatever it is he/she is going for.
Am I a pathetic optimist? Millana is almost 5. She dances around the room, paints Picassos, sings loud Martina McBride songs, and I am absolutely beaming with pride. Ewing is almost 3, and when he adds or subtracts, gives me a giggle or sings Tim McGraw, I just think he is the smartest, cutest, sweetest little man in the world! I couldn’t imagine ever telling them not to “go for it”, because I couldn’t imagine ever not believing in their dreams...
So I pose this argument to the husband, who, by the way is really a BIG SOFTY wrapped in tough guy, hardcore tattoos, and he realizes I am right. Because he is just as proud, just as supportive, and just as pathetically optimistic as I am!!
I personally think it's ok if a parent never sees his/her child as being less than “the best”. And, that builds a solid foundation for self-esteem. I think it's also good for a child to "go for something" and fail. Failure builds character. If we constantly caution our children and only encourage them to do that which we know they will succeed at, we never give our child the amazing opportunity to fall down and pick themselves back up again.
"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
~ Michael Jordan