"That's how I sound to everyone?" Sarah cried. "That's how everyone hears me when I sing?"
I had just been explaining to Sarah that the voice that she hears when I videotape her singing is the way she sounds to everyone all the time.
"But that sounds horrible!" she moaned. And then hot tears began to fall down her red cheeks.
She was heartbroken.
She has big plans for her future. She is going to be a singer. When she isn't playing teacher after school, she is practicing her singing and dancing.
When anyone asks her what she wants to be when she grows up, she will respond, without hesitation, "A singer."
And while she sings with enthusiasm, joy and gusto, she is usually off key. And the video recorder highlighted that.
She cried for almost 45 minutes. I spent that time trying to assure her that her singing was beautiful. "You have to say that because you are mom mom!" was her insightful response.
But to me, it is beautiful. I love the way she finds joy when she is singing. I love how confidant she is, how sure she is about her career choice. I love how she asks me at least twice a day with a big grin, "Do you know what I'm going to be when I grow up?"
I love that singing makes her happy.
But now my heart was breaking along with hers. Her faced crumpled up as the tears rolled down. Her confidence was gone. She knew she couldn't be a singer if that's how she sounded.
And all I could do was hold her and tell her that she sounded beautiful.
Thankfully, the dreams of a six-year-old aren't easily shattered. After much reassurance, she is now back at it. She still wants me to record her after school today, she still wants to be a singer when she grows up and she still sings a little of key.
And I still think it's beautiful.