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Talent Shows Always Make Me Cr

I’m pretty sure I put up this post every single year, but I can’t help it.

Talent shows always make me cry.

Cora did her talent show yesterday – they’re divided up by grade - and I don’t think there’s anything more soul-stirring than watching a dozen kindergarteners put themselves out there so bravely. I felt myself tearing up in the very first act (a very dapper tow-headed boy lip-synching to the Jackson Five’s “ABC”, replete in a mini leisure suit) and it never stopped.

Truth be told, Cora almost didn’t perform. She watched Maddie rehearse her own song for the second-grade show Sunday afternoon and got a bad case of stage fright. When Sunday evening rolled around and I said, “Do you want to run through your dance for the talent show tomorrow?” Cora hemmed and hawed and buried her face in my lap and declared she simply couldn’t do it.

“It’s too hard!” she cried, and I said what I always say: “It’s not too hard. It’s just hard.” We talked about how being brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared; being brave means you’re scared but you do something anyway. I also told Cora that the talent show is supposed to be fun, and if she didn’t want to do it she absolutely did not have to. So Cora went to bed saying “no” to the whole thing, but promising to give me a definite answer in the morning.

By morning’s light Cora’s natural confidence and optimism resurfaced and she was ready to do a final dress rehearsal before school. She looked fantastic and you could see the bloom coming back, the sparkle returning to her eye. So when the time came, Cora took the stage like a pro.

Cora twirled and jumped and danced all over that gym floor, performing a completely improvised dance all by herself. A favorite babysitter even came to watch and made Cora feel like a rock star with a fan club and everything. I sat on the floor holding my iPod to play the music and simply beamed the whole time.

When she was finished she sat back down with a grin as big as Texas and couldn’t help herself – she tumbled like a puppy into my lap and wriggled happily. For the rest of the show she cheered and clapped wildly for her friends, reveling in their bravery as well.

Honestly, these kids – they just break my heart.


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