Making Mistakes is Okay

My daughter had her dance recital today.  This was her third year of dance and she was so excited to be up on stage with her class.  Last year, I practiced with her to make sure that she knew the steps.  This year, however, she said she was old enough to know them on her own and that she knew what she was doing.

She had the dress rehearsal last weekend and she knew all the steps!  She looked great out there and was having fun.  She was so proud that she did it all by herself. This morning, we got ready and drove to the theatre and I dropped her off backstage.  When she came out on stage, she was just beaming and started the routine perfectly.  Toward the end of the song, instead of doing certain steps, it was clear that she was doing something different than the rest of the girls.  She had started to repeat a few of the steps from the beginning.

As she was holding both her arms up over her head, I could see the moment when she realized she had made a mistake.  To her credit, she found where she was and finished the dance.  As a mother, my heart broke for her.  My husband leaned over and asked if she had messed up.  We decided that we wouldn’t say anything to her.

After the show, we went backstage to pick her up.  She wanted nothing to do with the flower we had brought or giving her brother a hug. She was extremely sullen.  I immediately knew what was wrong, but she insisted she was just tired.  I had driven separately earlier to drop her off, so when we got in the car, it was just the two of us.  I asked her what was really wrong.  “Mom?” she said. “I think I made a mistake.”

I told her that she did a great job and that everyone makes mistakes sometimes.  I told her the dance looked amazing and that she had a beautiful smile.  I praised her for all the good parts she had done.  I could tell she felt better, although she brought it up again later in the day.  I am sure we will continue talking about making mistakes and that it is okay.

I need to remember that it is okay to make mistakes too.  I need to be able to go to God and say, “I think I made a mistake.”  When I do, I know that He will meet me with the same love that I met my daughter.

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