Up to now, this strategy has been conflict-free. My eldest loves fencing and wants to be a scientist (for now, of course. I realize this may change.) Okay. So we schlep to fencing lessons, sign up for classes at the Natural History Museum, and escort her out to marine bio camp. Great. Knock yourself out.
My little one likes tennis and wants to be famous. Tennis is easy enough. Kind of a pain in the ass in Manhattan, but doable. Famous? Oh sure, how cute, right? No. She wants to be famous RIGHT NOW. She's caught on to the fact that kids can be models and actors. A child we know has a small part this summer in her second movie, this time alongside a very dreamy movie star. So little one wants me to send some photos off to a talent agency and set her on the road to stardom.
I explained that it was a tough business. IF she even got started, she'd be trying out for jobs just based on looks and often she wouldn't get them. I know (well!) how much rejection sucks. I'm a grown woman and sometimes I die a little after reading "...not for us. Good luck." I can't imagine being a child and someone telling me I wasn't pretty enough, or tall enough, or thin enough. The feminist in me is screaming--positively bursting to get out!--but I toned her down.
At least with writing, I can pretend that my manuscript was good, it just wasn't right for their list. No one's implying that I'm ugly, or too chubby, or have stumpy legs, or whatever. And even if everyone hated my writing, I could always put an effort into improving. Not so with modeling.
I'm not maligning other people's choices for their children. Not every child in that business leads the life of Toddlers & Tiaras. I do think most stage moms probably have what's best for their child in mind. But, just...I can't. Not yet.
So I said no. When she's older, fine. And I'm happy to sign her up for drama lessons or whatever she likes. If she still wants to act when she's grown, I'll be sitting in the front row.
I did the right thing. Right? Yes? I hope so. Or am I foisting my issues on my kid?
What would you do?