On Saturday the 19th, I caught up to her shortly after the band left the field after the halftime show. When I asked her how it went and how she felt she said "it was fun." As the day went on I & other family members checked in with her to see if it was all worth it, and each time she expressed more enthusiasm. Like many performers, once she was in position the hours of hard work were a memory and she could just enjoy performing. Fear fell away and joy filled it's place. This Saturday was a new test, she sailed happily through the performance at the football game but then had to prepare for a competition on the same day in Hershey, PA. The band had a little down time as instruments and equipment were loaded into trucks and buses and the mom's prepared to feed the band. Once fed and once their uniforms were packed up we loaded into 3 buses and a van and some trucks we headed out to face our first competition. To add to the challenges it had been raining in Hershey since 1pm and every band went on the soggy field soaked. They put on their game faces and performed like troopers. We returned to the buses so the kids could change and try to stay dry while we waited for our scores.
I had assumed that the prospect of facing judges would bring on a new round of anxiety but she was so focused on her performance (first time on AstroTurf and first time in the rain) that she was not really paying any attention to the judges.
New situations have always been one of my personal fears, as I face unfamiliar situations and "first performances" I will hold the memory of my daughter's face in my mind's eye and remember the lesson she learned on the field, and I hope to keep her bravery and determination in my mind when I face my own daemons.