"it's make your mamas proud time"

Sunday, February 24, 2013


That title is from a line in the movie "Wreck it Ralph", but it seems fitting for a post capturing last night's Talent Show at our elementary school -- lots and lots of proud mamas {and dads} watching their kids perform up on stage.  It is not an easy thing to do, getting up in front of almost 700 people, putting yourself and your talents out there takes real courage.

On this blog, I purposefully stay away from sharing pieces of my children's lives that I feel are too personal.  I do it out of respect to their privacy, but I'm making an exception this time, because I want to remember just how this all felt. And I want Andrew to go back and read it when doubts creep up in the future.

 Last February, Andrew and I went on a little mother-son date night to watch the school talent show and then out to a nice dinner.  He wasn't performing, just going to watch friends. After the show he congratulated many of the performers as we made our way to the car.  I had my arm around his shoulders and could feel them hunching up.  I looked over at him and he was fighting back tears.  Tears of feeling left out.  Tears of wondering why no one asked him to be in an act. Tears of feeling like he didn't fit in.  The truth was he had really wanted to be on that stage and he had been waiting for someone to ask him.  He thought no one did because maybe he wasn't cool enough, or funny enough, or somehow worthy enough to be asked.  None of those things were true, of course.  I tried to tell him that if he didn't tell people he wanted to be in an act, or ask to join an act, there was no way they could know.  That didn't matter. In his eyes and heart he just wanted to be asked.  I tell you, my heart broke in a million pieces.  I cried that night after we got home for so many reasons, the biggest of which was Andrew's inability to see his own greatness.  This kid is SMART and crazy CREATIVE.  That he was waiting on someone else to validate that was so frustrating.  No matter how often we praise him as parents, it isn't enough to build him up and that is a hard lesson.  At the end of the day, he is a sensitive child that doubts himself sometimes and seeing so many other students be a part of something like a talent show only fueled that fire.

We talked that night about all the kids that did acts on their own, how they didn't need anyone to ask them to participate, they just signed up and did their own thing.  He said he wasn't sure what talent he could share on his own --  he didn't want to sing or dance, he doesn't play an instrument, and a comedy skit alone seemed daunting. I suggested he make one of his stop motion films.  No one had ever shared a movie at the talent show, he wasn't even sure they had the technical capabilities to do it in their auditorium but it was definitely the first idea that he had passion for and from that moment on he was determined to make it happen. He even wrote it down as his goal for the year during the first week of school. And last night, exactly one year later, he did.

As a parent there are so many things you hope to teach your children, so many lessons you spew out about self esteem and being in charge of your own happiness, etc. etc. but all those spoken lessons are only marginally effective, it is the real life experiences that matter far more.  Last night I didn't need to tell Andrew that he made it happen all on his own, that waiting in life for others to dictate what you can and can't be a part of isn't necessary, that when you want to achieve something you and you alone have the power to make it happen.  I didn't have to say any of it, because he knew.  He knew with every audience laugh at the perfecting timing in his film, with every parent and student that came up to him after the show to compliment and congratulate him, he knew with every whoop and whistle and clap that he's done something special, that he was original and creative and worthy.  My heart was very full as I sat in the front row, not watching the movie, but watching him in the wings on stage.  He was genuinely proud of himself.  It is a moment I hope never to forget.

He came on stage to introduce his film and here's what he said...
"Steven Spielberg was 16 when he wrote and directed his first film.  I've got him beat by 6 years.  I hope you enjoy the debut of my first movie."  

And you can too, right here....
Midnight in Mariemont from tessa on Vimeo.


PS. he's been very busy at work on a documentary film that will be featured in their DI tournament next week.  I will share that when I get the chance too! {after the competition!!}

50 comments:

  1. Tessa I'm totally impressed !!! I think it is awesome not only they movie but the story ! I will show my Bous they will love it ! Tell him that was extremely good ! I see why you were a proud mama ! Have a wonderful Sunday

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  2. OMG!! That was awesome!! He is so talented and creative. You should be very proud. I loved it!!

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  3. Great Job Andrew! Your mom is right -- you are very talented & can achieve anything that you set your mind to!

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  4. The story made me cry and the movie made me smile!!! Way to go Andrew and momma you should be so proud!

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  5. Way to go Andrew! That was so fun and amazing! My daughter is 12 and loves the Video Star app on the iPad but this will blow her away!

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  6. Way to go Andrew!!! The finished product turned out great. The whole family really enjoyed it. You should be very proud!

    Matt M.

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  7. Loved your entire post Tessa. Andrew should be so proud of himself! Great work and creativity on his video. I so loved it - can't wait to show my boys :) I always enjoy it so much when my boys take healthy risk and try new new things - that's the best way to grow, and figure out what you love and what is maybe just not your thing. Congrats to Andrew!

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  8. Tessa, Andrew's film was FABULOUS!!!!! Wow, that was SO creative and FUN! I am super impressed. I hope he watches the Academy Awards tonight and can start visualizing walking on stage to accept his Director's award in a few years as a young man! I think Steven Spielberg would be proud indeed.
    Your commentary was lovely... you had me in tears.
    Congratulations Andrew!! Amazing film.
    all my best,
    joan

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  9. WOW!!!!!! Andrew is so talented!!!!!! Seriously an awesome movie!!!!!! We all just watched and loved it! Congrats to Andrew! I am sure he is so thrilled with it!!! Love what he said when he walked on stage to introduce his film, too!
    xoxo, Ashley

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  10. Oh my gosh, that is so cute! Great job! My son would love it. How did your son ever learn how to make a video like that? - Anne

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  11. I loved your post - you beautifully described a situation that every child will experience in their lives and a situation that breaks every mom's heart. I love how you and Andrew handled it. Congrats to him on the talent show and on his fabulous movie! I just showed it to my 7 and 5 year old boys and they were amazed! My 7 year old couldn't believe that Andrew made the movie himself - look out Spielberg! -Holly

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  12. Andrew's film is awesome! You SHOULD be a proud mama. Even better, some day HE will understand the encouragement you've given him, and he will be proud to have you as his mama! You will be his date at his first Academy Awards. I'm pinning this for all to see ;-)

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  13. You conquered a mountain . . . good for you Andrew. This young man is going to do something big one day. Andrew you have a great Mom :O) Blessings to you and your "future projects". Sandy

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  14. I happened upon your blog a few weeks ago and love it--your style and values! I never post comments, but this post tugged at my heart bc I have a sensitive boy of my own and I think you have put into words how I have felt about his own struggles. Thank you so much for sharing this, what a special boy, and he is blessed to have a Mom like you.

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  15. what a beautiful post! and what a great mama you are! andrew is SO talented- i am seriously impressed. and i can only imagine how much time and energy he put into that and how SMART he must be. what a great kid!

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  16. Congratulations to your son on a wonderful video and what sounded like a very special night at the Talent Show. I can't wait to show my 8 year old this video. He loves Lego and would be excited to think about making a video of his own. It was great! Wow!!!!

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  17. As a mom of a sweet, sensitive little boy (who just so happens to also be an Andrew), this brought tears to my eyes. It's not too big of a stretch to imagine how you felt, and what a great mom you are for encouraging him in his talents. Amazing film. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  18. Your son is crazy talented! How on Earth did he even do that?! So amazing. You must be so proud and full of joy, that he put himself out there and overcame something that was sad for both of you a year ago.

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  19. And your boy doubts himself??? Impossible! What a cool film...loved the ending where they all jump back in the toy basket...especially the part where the big guy helps the little one left behind...so very cool. Hope he does more productions...I'll be waiting:)

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  20. Loved It!!! I would be so proud too.

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  21. Andrew ....Wow do you know what you have done???? You have accomplished something so talented even most adults couldn't do....Kudos to you dear boy...kudos to you.....and to you Tessa, the apple doesnt't fall too far from the tree....both very talented.....Have A Great Day..Hugs from Canada

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  22. so awesome! I can not wait to show my teenage son who is also into filming:) he will love it!!!

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  23. What a wonderful post. It brought tears to my eyes and a huge smile for Andrew's big victory.

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  24. Oh my, this is wonderful! How sweet that a year later this happened for him. What a great lesson and a great memory in your lives.

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  25. That is amazing! I have no idea how any of that was created, but I'm truly impressed! Way to go Andrew :)

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  26. What a wonderful post. Andrew, you did incredibly awesome!!!!! I'm so impressed by your talent at such a young age. Keep it up!!!

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  27. This was fantastic and made me cry! I remember the same feelings at that age (and all through school), and I genuinely didn't have such an impressive talent to overcome them with! That film is wonderful - best wishes to him in life :)

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  28. And proud you should be! Kudos to Andrew...really amazing! Maybe some day we'll see Andrew thanking you in his Oscar speech! Did you see Jeffrey Katzenberg receiving his Oscar last night? He is the head of Dreamworks Animation (my daughter works there)...they are always hiring good animators! Keep working Andrew, you have a future in filmmaking!

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  29. Such a sweet post written in such a lovely way. Darling son you have and SO talented, gives me chills. Way to go Mom:)

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  30. That was amazing! Great job kiddo! What a great way to teach that lesson, nice work Mom. :)

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  31. So very cool! My boys watched the movie and loved it. My boys are 10 and 6. You have fans Andrew!

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  32. What a precious, precious moment. I love how you called forth something from deep down...and that he acted on it. You are fabulous mama! xoxo!

    P.S. No clue how he made that, but it's super fun!

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  33. Your commentary was great - you are a great mama! He is so talented - totally impressed! I know you must be so proud.

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  34. I love his video!! I am sending it to Todd (my 35 year old boyfriend!) because he is a HUGE lego fanatic and would absolutely love this! My sister and I sat here and watched Andrew's video and both died laughing at the Club LEGO part! Please let Andrew know he has big fans in Florida and look forward to his next movie!

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  35. Love the video! What a sweet, sweet post.....

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  36. That is awesome... love Club Lego. He is very talented. Beautiful post.

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  37. To every single one of you, thank you for such kind and generous comments. They have meant so much to me and to Andrew. You've made him feel like a star. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart! xoxo

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  38. I absolutely loved this! He's incredibly talented and should be so proud!

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  39. I haven't watched it yet but will tomorrow BUT I wish I still had your phone number bc my first thought was : I need to call Tessa and cry and laugh over being a mom to a smart creative sensitive first born! You are such a good mom and your advice was right on point and look what greatness came of it. xoxoxo

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  40. Well done, Andrew. You held the interest of this 56 year old woman who, by the way, went back to college at age 40 and is about to get her PhD this spring. It's never too late or too early. Let's Go ...

    Debbie
    dcm9@uw.edu

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  41. Tessa,
    I read your post earlier, but just now watched the video! I was AMAZED!!!! Andrew is a rock star! Completely blown away! Great job, Andrew!!!

    XOXO
    cls531
    Cindy

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  42. Wow that film is incredible! I love it! and can't wait to send it to my college son. Love the Lego Club! :) Congratulations to Andrew! He is so talented! Look forward to seeing more work. Tessa thank you so much for sharing. You're a wise one and you make me cry, always in a good way. :)) take care, Robin

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  43. Tessa, what a beautiful post straight from the heart. Andrew, congratulations! Your film is awesome! My 9 year old son, Gabriel just watched it and said, "That is so cool...how did he do that?!!!" We are both really impressed! You are super talented like your mom!
    xo,
    Michelle in KC

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  44. Wow, what talent! Your son has a great future ahead of him...loved it!!! Tell him congratulations on a job well done.

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  45. OMG.... I love it! Andrew is SOOOOOO GOOD!!!!!!!!!! I'm gonna show Ryan right now!!!!!!! xoxo, Alexandra

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  46. My 21-year-old design-student daughter reads your blog regularly for your style and has frequently mentioned things she has seen here. This morning (with tears in her eyes) she told me about Andrew's story -- so I had to come read it for myself and see his wonderful video. Your mom-love was just right in guidance and encouragement! Reminded me of David McPhail's book "Something Special," another little story that brings tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing this!

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  47. Oh, wow. I kept meaning to log on to watch this and so happy I did. First, your backstory was so endearing it made me tear up. I LOVE what he said as his introductory!!! I so wish this film could somehow get in the hands of SS. I bet he would love it. Because it's that good! I am beyond impressed and please tell him that I wrote down my goal, too, and he has truly inspired me to keep on keepin' on!!!! Andrew...can't wait to say we knew you when...

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  48. Tessa,
    I've been following you on Instagram for awhile and just watched this video with my son. He is super interested in making something similar. What computer program did Andrew use? So creative!

    Love what you shared from a mother's perspective, too! All so very true.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Nicole

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