On Friday, Joe performed in music idol at his middle school - which is sponsored by WBLI and the aquarium in Riverhead as well as an entertainment company which offer DJ’s and that sort of thing. Let me tell you I am not one of the fanatics who feel my child is God’s gift to the world and he can do no harm. Oh no, I am somewhat more rational when comparing my children to others. Well, for the most part. So when Joe took the stage he belted out the song, and fair enough during one part I heard a slight fumble of the words, his voice drifted off but he finished strong. He was not one of the finalists; there were three; all girls and all great singers who deserved to be chosen. Some were professionally trained and I sort of believe it will be a good idea for Joe to get some lessons. But the idea of my twelve-year-old taking voice lessons conflicts with a few ideals. He is on the school choir and has been in school musicals, but most of us seek professional intervention which we hope can make our children perfect in sports and perfect in a performance or an exhibition. I was struck by how poised some of these performers were. Sure their parents pay for coaching, pay to get that extra step which can make their children the dream player, singer, actor, artist we may believe or want them to become. Are we creating professionals? Are the children losing the joy in the performance? Do we nurture the love of the sport or the art or is all of this about the competition? Joe’s voice will eventually change and he will continue to sing and perform since he loves to, but he was very disappointed with the results. Not to suggest he didn’t think the girls deserved to win, but he really was one of the best. I wanted to hold him and tell him there was nothing to worry about; it was just a crappy competition with an MC who always dances and kicks to Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer, but that’s teaching my son how to be a sore loser. I wanted him to know he should feel happy for the winners and congratulate them. I also wanted to tell Joe…we will pay for the lessons. And maybe we will - as long as he wants to pursue something he likes to do. On Friday, I watched a mother, sitting forward in her seat and looking at her daughter on the stage. Mother had a bright smile on her face and there was no direction or coaching, she was proud of her daughter. I am proud of my son and am amazed how confident he is each time he takes the stage. He loves performing. He is in his element…I will look into lessons, they can only help. Amazing to think this is the way of life out here in the suburbs…the kids getting private lessons, tutors and such; I guess it is all about the competition…I have to share something, On Saturday I brought Joe and one of the winners to the mall. She told Joe when she woke up that morning, she didn’t know if she was dreaming, she reminded herself, it was real…she actually was one of the winners and we felt happy for her…we really did - since we could share in her moment of joy.