Saturday, November 7, 2009

Not the Jodie Foster I Wanted to Be

I'll admit it--I wouldn't mind at all identifying with Jodie Foster in a lot of ways. She's done some interesting things in her many roles, and has generally looked great and often kicked ass while doing them. Her character in Flight Plan, for instance--wouldn't want her problems, but her fortitude? Her cunning? Her muscle tone? I'm in.

Today, unfortunately, I had a sudden flash of myself as a Jodie Foster character, and it was Dede Tate.

Today, my daughter performed at the Illinois Music Educator's Association festival--an event organized to bring together the most talented singers and musicians from the northern half of the state and give them the opportunity to work with professional directors. She was totally in her element, soaking up advice and basking in the sound and feeling of a hundred well-honed voices from all over the state joining in a single note and I...I am basically tone deaf.

Oh, I can hear enough to know that she's basically a good singer. I love to listen to her sing, both when she stands in front of me and performs and when I open my bedroom door in the morning so I can hear her in the next room as she gets ready for school. But when she hits that one difficult note that she needs to work over and over again, I can't tell that she went wrong...and I can't tell when she finally gets it right. When I watch her sing a solo, I don't know whether it was her best performance ever or she faltered a little.

In short, she's already moved far beyond the point at which I have anything useful to offer her in what is fast becoming the most important area of her life. I can applaud, I can drive, I can sign permission slips and pay entry fees and even hire teachers, but I can't simply say, "That was really good" and have it mean anything other than "Mommy loves you."

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