Stage right, stage left … GET OFF THE STAGE

I was maybe 8 years old.

There I sat in a metal folding chair with my mom, waiting for my name to be called. Prior to my name being called, I was shuffled into a room where I was “taught” the nursery-rhyme-turned-into-a-song, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”

It was my audition song and I was ready to rock that shit out.

Who in the WORLD could possibly screw up the refrain to THAT song?

ME. Me. Me. Me.

POOF, there went my dream of starring in the school production of “Princess and the Pea.” All because I could not remember the words to “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”

I could blame my parents, but no, it wasn’t their fault. It was all mine.

Let’s flash-forward to junior high. I had high hopes of landing a solo gig for our spring choir show. I loved being on stage. Lord knows I have the voice for it – I don’t even need a microphone – I am THAT loud. I commanded the audience.

So, in an effort to land that solo, I had to prove myself worthy. What better song to sing than Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings” from the hit movie, and my favorite, “Beaches.” But then, I opened my mouth. I remember clear as day the facial expression coming over my choir director’s face. Poor Mr. Denison. What was he going to tell my father? (Remember ya’ll, my dad taught at the same junior high I attended … he SAW Mr. Denison on a daily basis. OH THE HORROR!)

Back to the chorus for this non song-bird. No hard feelings, right, Melissa?


They say if you fail, try and try again. I am pretty sure that ship has sailed far, far away.

Screw singing.

I found a new passion in life … DANCING.

But this isn’t about dancing … no, this column is about dealing with the torture of simply TRYING OUT FOR EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIESS.

Right now, my oldest is trying out for the middle school basketball team. I understand the feeling of defeat. I can honestly say I have been there and done that … but he has never been in my shoes before. He has always been the BEST at everything. Soccer – nailed it. Goalie in soccer – he is a force to be reckoned with. Academics – BOOM, this kid has both mad math and English/reading skills.

But now, we are in unchartered waters. Now, he is one of 20-something boys vying for a spot on the middle school boys basketball team. There are only 13 spots on the team. Only 13 uniforms will be handed out in the upcoming week. Only 13 boys will make THE team.

I know as parents we have to be there for our kids … for the good, the bad and everything in between … because right now, we have to be the wind beneath their wings.


About the author:

Melissa Linebrink is a columnist for “The Mommy Wars” which appears in The Chronicle-Telegram.