The American Idol winner was announced a month or two ago. The children still talk about it constantly, like every other day. Mostly when we’re in the car.
The week leading up to the finale, I’d tried to prep the kids for the disappointment that would inevitably follow, especially Zaffy.
“Jessica might get voted off on American Idol. Or it might be Phillip Phillip or Joshua. Too close to tell what the American public is going to decide. But SOMEONE is going to NOT WIN. It might make you sad.
“No, I’ll be okay. Everyone I care about is gone already.” That’s what my oldest, Zaffron, told me. My youngest, Mgazi, had stopped caring.
“But you realize, they are going to be ELIMINATED. No longer on the show. You’re okay with that?
“Yes, Mother. I’m okay. I’m not going to cry this time.”
What’s crazy is that I was tempted to believe her.
When Joshua got voted off, she cried.
“Let’s face it,” she said. “I’m going to cry no matter what happens.”
I’m the one who needs to “face it.” I let my kids watch American Idol because I, myself, want to watch American Idol. I suspect this is true for the gentleman I greatly admire as well. He let his children watch True Blood because he wanted to watch True Blood. Maybe he wanted something to share with them that was interesting to him. I know that I can only talk about My Little Pony and princesses for so long before I want to stab myself with a spork… in the eye.
We had some in-depth conversations about the show, the kids and I. We talked about the contestants’ feelings, their families, their future careers, how the competition worked. They both looked forward to watching the show each week.
But was it worth Zaffron’s heart breaking each and every week?
On one hand, no way. She’s simply too young to not take it all to heart. On the other hand, how is she going to learn not to react so strongly to upsetting events unless she has the opportunity? Isn’t American Idol a pretty innocuous way for her to practice reigning in her emotions a bit? An event where I can be there for her, comfort her, talk it out with her? Or… am I making more excuses?
Once again, I find myself having no clue what I’m doing when it comes to parenting my kids. I suck, just like a vampire.
(Lucky for me that Californication comes on after they’ve already gone to bed!)