Anne Peterson

I write stories and goosebump poetry

I Sang my Song for Nothing (Five minute Friday)

sheet music
(I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker today to take part in her “5 Minute Fridays,” The word is song).

 

What was I thinking?

I didn’t sing like some of the others. I liked singing, but I wasn’t that good. I’d never make it.

Looking at my sheet music of the song, Strangers in the Night, I remembered the part I had to redo. I had started the song too low.

A few days later I pushed the mediocre try-out out of my mind as I inched toward the posting of who made it.

And there was MY name listed among the others. I made it! I would be in the high school musical!

I had to remind myself to breathe. This was definitely the most exciting thing that had ever happened to me. Finally I felt like I was fitting in.

Running through the door I threw my books down and looked for mom.

“Mom, guess what? I made it. I tried out for the musical and I was chosen!”

I waited for her smile, I longed for her acceptance. But some things never come no matter how much we want them.

She barely looked up as she said,

“Who told you you could try out for the musical? I never said you could do it. Now you go back to school and tell them you can’t be in it.”

I heard the sound of something breaking. It was my dream of fitting in, of being like the other kids.

There was no talking mom into things. Once she decided something it was set in stone.

So, the next day I obeyed. And months later I wiped off tears as I sat watching my friends perform the musical without me.

It would be a pattern I’d have to someday break. Of being an observer of my own life, instead of a participator. Of hearing a song, instead of singing.

About Anne Peterson

I write words you can feel, sometimes they rhyme. If I’m not writing, I’m telling stories from my head, to little ones who call me grandma.

14 Replies

  1. Wow. I can’t imagine not singing. My heart breaks for the girl who wasn’t allowed to sing.

    1. Actually I did feel proud of myself for at least trying out. It was a scary thing, but I did it.
      I too, felt sorry for a lot of my growing up years, but I realize my mom was kind of stuck. She was the oldest of 8 kids and responsible for helping her mom out. She just made sure I followed suit.

  2. I hope that God will redeem that in your life, the way he promises to repay the faithful for the years the locusts have eaten. Maybe you should try out for a musical now?

  3. Actually, Jess and I got treated to a musical last night. A friend of hers called up with tickets to a play she wanted to give away. So, for the first time ever I saw West Side Story!. We had a good time even though we were still dragging from the weekend.

    As far as me doing a musical now, it’s not happening. The extent of my musical career is when I sing a song to the boys before I pray for them.

  4. Anne, you were so brave to try. And you got the part! You did it.
    Parents are imperfect. I am sorry you were not allowed to be in the play.
    Now you are the adult. You don’t have to ask for permission anymore. Is today the day you will break the habit? Is today the day you will sing?
    God gave you a beautiful song. Sing Anne, sing.

  5. Thanks Pamela. And you’re right. Some chains are harder to break than others. The Lord has used my grandsons to help heal parts of me that were imprisoned. So I know what you’re talking about.

  6. Hi Anne….and I bet had you asked your mother why, she would have given you 10 good reasons, making you feel bad for even trying out. The other day I asked my mother a ‘why’ question. And you know when she was done explaining I actually believed her reasons for a while. Parents are great at ‘bs’ when it suits them.

  7. Patricia,
    At first, when I used to think back on memories like this there was such a sting. And then I spoke to my mom’s remaining brother and actually shared some of my thoughts. It was enlightening when he said, “I’m sorry that your mom wasn’t able to break some of the patterns of how she grew up. Being the oldest of 8 children, my mom didn’t even get to finish school. Her responsibilities were great. I’m sure she had dreams that never got fulfilled, and other ones that were broken. Do I think she was right in some of the things she did? No. But, breaking some of those chains is really difficult.

    Honestly, I remember one time when my daughter wanted to do something. Outwardly, I acted like it would be fine. But inside, the little girl in me who didn’t get to do anything was resentful. So, when my daughter would come home I struggled with anger. When I acknowledged this, it was so freeing. I have broken a lot of chains from the past. And till I see Jesus, I will try to break them. The more I understood about what she went through, the easier it became to forgive. My mother and father’s marriage was arranged. Even the most important decision of her life was not her own.

  8. Anne, I’m so glad you shared this story here. I remember your struggling to write it on the Tribewriters course. There is healing in just talking about the brokenness and pain. I admire your courage.

  9. Audrey,
    At times, it’s hard to share these stories because I can’t temper them with a bunch of light ones. This was my life. I’m still healing from some of it, but determined to keep going forward. Thanks for your comment. I so appreciate it.

  10. Wow, Anne. This story. I don’t know how to express the heartache I felt for you, as a young girl, facing that disappointment. And, also there is this wrestling as a mom myself knowing that I let my children down. How do we deal with the disappointments in life that threaten to suffocate the life out of us? I saw grace and love in your comments. Maybe this is the only remedy for such heartbreaks? Blessings to you!

    1. Julie-Anne,

      Thanks so much for reading and for your comments. Disappointments are a hard one. Honestly I didn’t think it would have been something I wouldn’t be able to do. I was so nervous doing it, but there was this part of me that longed to have fun. And it seemed the few times I ventured towards that, I got shot down. Eventually, I stopped trying. The problem is this, it has followed me into my adult life. I rarely feel like I can just have fun. And if I do, I’m waiting for the axe to fall. I guess it took becoming a mom to truly understand a lot of things. I feel sorry for those who suffer in childhood and remain stuck there. God is Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. I’m so glad of that.

  11. Anne,
    It was very brave of you to share this part of your story. Perspective and time definitely help, as God heals those broken places within us. Sometimes, I have had to resolve that a person “just couldn’t” – he or she just couldn’t. It is much more to do with them than me. Heck, sometimes I’ve been the person that “just couldn’t” for whatever reason.
    Psalm 33:3 “Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy”.
    Sing your beautiful new song to the LORD. We don’t even have to audition for that one …. we were made for it! xo

    1. Tracy,
      Thanks for saying it was brave to share it. I too, have come to the place where I see the decisions my mom made were those she had seen made. I recently spoke with one of her brothers and he told me he was sorry she never broke out of that mold. My mom was the oldest of 8 children heavily laden with responsibilities. One chain I wish I could successfully break is the one where I feel I have the right to enjoy. Being a grandmother has really helped. For I have fun, yet I am still watching them. It’s “allowed” fun. Thanks for reading, Tracy and for your thoughtful comment. They just “couldn’t,” is a reason which is much easier to accept. I believe it’s true about my mom.

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