If you are my Facebook friend or follow me on Twitter, you know that I have been struck down with a raging case of stage parentitis this week, basking in the after glow of Noah’s Delco Idol Jr. performance on Sunday night. I have lost complete control of my emotions and, in some cases, my actions. Seriously, I am creeping myself out, if for no other reason than I have watched the video below at least a dozen times – and I’m still not tired of it.
I want the world to see it. And I want them to know that he’s MY kid. And I have big GIANT fantasies that put him on the stage of Madison Square Garden someday, playing to thousands and thanking his mother for everything she has ever done for him. I am the Mrs. Phelps of Rock n’ Roll, clad in a very cool Chico’s outfit (nothing too frumpy please), rocking out among the masses, helping him select just the right grungy t-shirt, and getting backstage passes for all my friends. I swear these are the same fantasies I had about Shaun Cassidy when I was 8 years old, which is precisely why I’m concerned about my state of mind.
When it comes to intensity, this pride has dwarfed all others to date. It has surpassed “first steps” pride, “report card” pride, “base hit” pride, “art project” pride, “look handsome in that new suit” pride and “being an all around good kid” pride. And I ask myself why?
It’s because, I can’t do it.
You might think the opposite would be true – that parents would be most proud of their children’s talents that are inherited directly from them. Yet, there is a distinct, awe-inspiring dynamic that occurs when you watch your kid completely surpass you. I can’t carry a tune; I can’t play guitar. To be able to do both, in front of hundreds of strangers with no fear, impresses me to no end. This is not me; this is him. Look at what he has become. I sit in an audience and watch him soar, leaving me and everyone else down here on earth, cheering him on. First the first time, I am looking up at my child.
While I can’t take any credit for his musical talent (unless it’s a recessive gene), I am tethered to this child in ways for which I wasn’t prepared. And lo and behold, I can be pulled up just as strongly as I can be pulled down. Having now experienced both, I can say with certainty that “up” trumps “down.”
Noah doesn’t realize it but a part of me shares that stage with him. Not my voice or my ears or my courage – clearly he doesn’t need those things – but my heart, which runs over with every single note.