I’m having a very Georg von Trapp moment today.
“You brought music back into the house. I had forgotten.”
(What do you mean you don’t like whistles and uniforms?)
For the past (just over a) week, our house has been eerily quiet. This is something rather curious, as it is never quiet in our home.
There is usually a constant flow of dance, song, dance, song. “Do you want to hear me sing XXX?” “Just let me sing one more song. PLEASE!” “Wait, Mama, watch this amazing dance I just choreographed!” “Come down to the basement and watch our musical!” “Do I sound more Barbra or more Rachel Berry to you?”
And then something happened. Something upsetting, something unsettling, something that left my daughter feeling broken. Of course, my Mama Bear instincts were in full swing, telling her that I’m her biggest fan and that I believe her and that I believe IN her and that she is really one of the most wonderful children to ever be. I think this, of course, because I am her mama. But it’s really the truth. Emily is a good egg. She’s the Student Council president, she’s a wonderful actress, she’s responsible, she’s confident, she’s trust-worthy, she’s organized, she’s smart, she’s a
brown-noser hard worker. Everyone loves her. We walk into our synagogue and 23 seconds later she has a full gaggle of girls who are so excited to see her. She arranges plays with parts for the little kids so they can participate. Last week, she set up an entire spa in her bedroom so she could give a four-year-old a mani-pedi. We have friends who are counting down the days until she is old enough to babysit for their children.
And then something happened.
Wrongfully accused. Wrongfully punished. Wrongfully made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe in an environment that should be working to make her feel comfortable and safe.
And there has been a lot of quiet.
And that may have been the hardest pill to swallow.Â Because for the past week, the 11-year-old child who lived in my house was not my daughter Emily. She was anÂ impostor. She certainly looked like my kid, but there was a spark that was missingâ€”empty.
She came home from school. She was laughing, dancing, singing.Â
She spent the entire evening in our empty room, the one that doubles as her dance studio and stage. She made up two new dances. She practiced her audition song for Mary Poppins. She sang. She sang. She sang some more. She didn’t stop.
My daughter is back. She’s no longer broken and shattered. She picked the pieces back up and she is herself again.
And this Mama Bear hasn’t been able to stop crying. I hope that spark never ever goes away again. It might be too much for me to take.