My daughter is 3 and already a failure in so many ways. I happened to watch a tiny snippet of The Ellen DeGeneres Show the other day and there was a 13-year old playing Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi. You can see his performance here.
Ellen said he was a prodigy. But rather than be happy for him, I went to that bad competitive place:
1. This boy is 13. He has a whole 10 years on my daughter.
2. He’s playing Lady Gaga. That’s not exactly high brow, high technical stuff here. You can play it in 10 inch heels and a feather mask.
3. A 13 year old could conceivably practice and practice enough to sound like a prodigy playing Lady Gaga.
Of course then I had to go on YouTube and type in “child prodigy” and “3”. The competition among my daughter’s “peers” includes a drummer for a church group, a pre-pre-pre adolescent who plays Petzold/ Bach’s Minuet in G Major, and a much less than 4 footer who plays basketball. Then there’s the 3-year old snowboarder, and even a video gamer. Imagine what the competition will be when she’s 4 and even more kids come out of the garage.
Doogie Howser M.D. used to be an amusing freak show, now it’s a blueprint.
I looked up one story of a violin prodigy. He found a violin at his grandmother’s house, never had a lesson, and now she’s eying Carnegie Hall and my daughter’s spot at Yale (should she ever want to go). My daughter had an encounter with her cousin’s violin and her musical muse told her it was a drum.
Think your 10-year old can do gymnastics? Watch this 6 year-old.
There’s even Tavi the 13-year old fashion blogger.
I’m telling myself (talking myself down) that it’s good enough that she’s a good person. She can’t read yet or swim, but I’m raising a really nice person. And, who knows, she could be a prodigy snowboarder too. But, living here in Miami, I guess I’ll never know if it’s that. I read somewhere that all kids have the ability to be prodigies and it’s just finding and discovering what that talent is. I bet hers is snowboarding.