My daughter, Emily, at learned age of 8 taught me a lesson that has never left me.
The church we were attending at time was planning a huge Christmas play. They were pulling out all stops and were abuzz with excitement. Mary, pastor's wife/casting director was in hot pursuit of lead role: A young girl with many, many lines. In fact character appeared in every scene and spoke in all but one.
It was my understanding that she wanted a teenager, but girls weren't exactly lining up in front of her. A. Practices would take place each Friday and Saturday night for a month. B. Forget a line + suffer humiliation = life's over.
Then one Sunday evening, Mary headed toward me smiling like a cat with salmon on its breath. My first thought was, "Has she gotten that desperate?" I started filing through my mental files for folder marked EXCUSES, but realized soon enough I didn't need excuses because she didn't need a 28 year old teenager.
She: "Sweet Emily has saved day!" Me: "My sweet Emily?" She: "Of course. She wants role. She's so excited. I showed her script, and how many pages there are to memorize. She said she could do it."
Me: "Then she'll do it."
My freckle faced, beautiful little girl who had never done anything remotely like this had just signed on for something realistically over her head. Realistically. But 8 year olds don't think realistically. They'd never stoop to that.
When I first asked her about it and offered to loan her my EXCUSES folder, she told me what she had apparently told Mary, "Oh, I can do that." She even seemed incredulous that we adults hadn't thought of this before - obvious solution.