Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Hope - Despair - Repeat
But I digress. Eldest read the sticker on the barbie coloring books. They said WIN and HOLLYWOOD! and CHANCE! and she begged me to get on the internet and enter her into their contest. The grand prize was a trip to Hollywood, a visit to Barbie's compound (or wherever the heck she dwells) and a one of a kind Barbie that you design. Eldest almost swooned and she wanted to go upstairs right away and figure out what she should wear to Hollywood. I sat her down, looked her in the eyes and explained to her why she doesn't have a snowball's chance in Hades of winning. I rattled off a mega-ton of zeros. I may have even said the word probability. I also told her that the fun part was entering and it wasn't about the winning. I basically told her a bunch of crap to try to get her to not be too excited. In my professional life, it's known as 'managing expectations.' I guess in the real world I guess it's called killing dreams softly. It's what parents sometimes do, because we can't bear the idea of our kids being hurt.
Wouldn't it be a great story if now I told you that, against all the odds, eldest won the Barbie prize? That the naysaying mommy was wrong and should have had faith, dust & pixie dust (sorry, wrong corporation)? It would have been awesome, but it didn't happen. Instead, when she found out she didn't win, she cried, loud and long, alarmingly and heartbreakingly - the way only kids seem to be able to do. I comforted and consoled her and soon she'd spent out her tears.
Now, a couple of months after, I wonder if she remembers the Barbie contest. I know that she still wants to enter every contest she hears about (LaLaLoopsy, anyone?) I also know that she still glazes over when I tell her the odds of her winning are not ever in her favor (heh, channeled a little Effie there.) She just continues to believe she can win. I wonder how long she can keep that belief up.
I've decided not to tell her about probability anymore. Mostly because I'm currently engaging in some magical thinking myself. I'm not even talking about the occasional Megamillions dollar I drop at the WaWa. Yes, I'm querying.
So far I've sent out eight. I've got two partials out and I've gotten four rejections. I know that's not much yet, and I know I don't have any choice but to keep trying or give up. The trick now is to figure out how eldest does it. How she cries bitter tears (I reserve the right to eat chocolate instead) then shakes it off and keeps going, her spirit undiminished. It's probably mostly up to the fact that she's seven.
I'm going to go find my inner seven year old.
How do you survive the query process?