I was reading an interview with Janai Brugger in the New York Times. Brugger is the 28-year-old singer who entered the Metropolitan Opera's National Council Auditions and won. Then won Placido Domingo's Operalia competition. And then was offered the ultimate and most amazing of prize: an offer to debut at the Met in Puccini's "Turandot" on October 30.
What a whirlwind of wins. Of course it was built on hard work. She started voice lessons in high school--at the urging of her mother. Her preference was musical theater but classical music was good training for any direction her career took. Meanwhile, her opera-obsessed mother had been taking her to see Aida, Madama Butterfly and all the other grand and lesser operas since she was a small child. But evidently she didn't push opera on her child whose career evolved in that direction serendipitously--if I read the interview right.
Why am I writing about this in a blog about parenting adult children? Because at the end of the interview, Brugger was asked how her mom felt about the sudden turn of wonderful events in her child's life--not just the competition wins but the turn toward opera. And Brugger's answer struck me as the definition of the end game: of what we, as parents, would like our children to say--and more importantly, to feel--about us as parents.
Here's Brugger's comment on her mother's reaction to her sudden fame. Reader alert: I almost teared up at the last line--hoping my children feel that way about paterfamilias and me.
"My mom is like a kid in a candy store. She has to know every detail. How was rehearsal? What happened? Who did you meet? And she knows more about these things than I do. So it's great that we can share that. She'd be proud of me for anything, but this is extra special.