Ok so if you know me you are probably thinking, “how was this day any different than any other?” Yes, I’m a cryer, I can barely make it through a tv show, or listen to the radio without some sort of emotion stirring in me that makes me cry for one reason or another, so the fact that my daughter made me cry is really no big deal, except it was.
Over the last 16 years I have watched my baby grow into the beautiful young woman she is today. I have shed many tears over her accomplishments, failures and heartaches, but the other night she totally took my breath away.
Let me give you a little bit of background, probably a little to much for Emilee’s liking, but my hope is that this will inspire others to follow their dreams despite any obstacles that may be in their way.
When Emilee was in preschool, she didn’t talk at school or in settings where there were lots of people, at all…to anyone. We didn’t think anything of it, we figured she was just “shy” Lord knows she was never at a loss for words at home. She went on to Kindergarden and about a month into the school year the guidance counselor called me and said that she and the teacher noticed that Emilee never spoke to anyone, she was a very good student but just never talked. The guidance counselor had recently been to a training session for one reason or another where they were talking about a condition called “Selective Mutism” which is defined basically as the physical inability to speak due to anxiety. She believed that this may be what Emilee’s problem was, Emilee wanted to talk but had so much anxiety that “the words get stuck in my throat Mommy and they just don’t come out.” I’m not one for labeling kids, or trying to put a diagnosis on things that don’t need diagnosed, but I have to say that I am thankful to this day that we had that conversation, and we did the things we did to help my daughter, because I truly believe it helped her overcome her fears and anxieties and become the person she is today, a confident, outgoing, 16 year old young lady.
Music, singing, and theater are just a few of Emilee’s passions and as some of you know she tried out and made it into the musical this year at school as a dancing spoon in Beauty and the Beast…hey its a start right? I have always known she had a gift for music, she taught herself how to read sheet music and play the keyboard at age 10 and she was always singing, but up until the other night I had never actually heard her sing for real, alone as a performer. I wasn’t allowed in the musical auditions, and the other times I had heard her sing she was with a group of people or in a large choir. This year she took a musical theater class and as her final exam they had to prepare, practice and perform a song of their choice. The performances took place on a Friday night so parents and friends could come support the students. Emilee chose to sing “So Anyway” from the musical Next to Normal. I’d like to share with you the first time I heard my daughter sing and the day my daughter made me cry.
Call me biased, but for a “shy” kid with no formal voice training I think she’s pretty darn good! I am so proud and cannot wait to see what her future holds.