William wishes he had a special machine. It would tell him what to do, so that when he is grown he won't regret his choices. This is what he shared with me today over lunch. He says his hands are sweating, from nerves. Why all the anxiety? My bad. I enrolled him in a singing class. This is my first act of arbitrary, blatant dictatorship parenting and I am standing my ground, but I do feel for him.
Many mornings, before school and chores and errands, William can be heard from behind his bedroom door, singing. He sings without inhibition. Full throttle and joyous. It is made up comedic opera and it actually sounds good. Sometimes I find myself wishing there were subtitles, so as I fold laundry or write emails, I can follow the story line. Geoff has a nice voice. I have a stunted, introverted, and tone deaf voice. I want William to explore the possibility that he can carry a tune, go Christmas caroling and lead off at birthday parties. Because I lack confidence I understand that he feels shy, and that he feels that he wouldn't be good. But I think I can detect a faint hope; I think he might slightly suspect that this could be worthwhile, and that he simply wants huge amounts of encouragement and a bit of a persuasive kick.
"Think of me as your special machine," I suggested to William. "I can tell you when something is worth trying, and I think you will find, when you are grown, you will not regret trying to learn new things. You may find that not everything is to your liking, but experiences that enrich your life and nurture your growth, will always be worth a try."
He didn't 100% resist, so we may be on to something. Please, please, please, please let this be good.