Monday, December 8, 2014
This blog post has been brewing in my mind since I put my head on my pillow last Thursday evening, but sharing my update got delayed due to computer issues this weekend.
Anyway when I went back to review all of the pictures from the 3rd Grade Winter Concert, I came across one in particular which pretty much summed it up for me.
Two years ago was the first time H was in a school concert, as a first grader. He did well in music class but as soon as they rehearsed in the gym on the risers, his participation regressed. Not that he was necessarily singing along-- or mouthing the words for that matter (even though he knew the songs)-- but at least in music class he was happy & enthusiastic, & participating with some of the movements & a few select words or phrases.
Therefore that particular year they invited me for one the practice days, because we all knew if H joined the other kids it might only be without the big audience of the concert night. After all, the 1st Grade Spring Concert is actually combined with 2nd Grade so it would be a lot of people.
I remember arriving at the school for one of the rehearsals & the adorable ladies in the front office kindly hid me in a supply closet (for real), so H would not catch me through the window as the students were walking by.
Someone had clued me in to the fact that H had already gotten slightly upset & actually threw up a little bit. When the episode subsided, they gave him something to fidget with & he was a little better.
But long story short, sitting (not standing) on the end of the risers beside his Aide is as far as his participation went that day:
I was not complaining! I didn't even know if he would make it off the gym floor & I was very proud of him for being up there & facing the big room.
The night of the actual concert we somehow convinced him to get in the car & go to the school-- we said we were only stopping by to watch for a little bit & then we would come home. We were careful not to place any expectations on him. But once we were there, we had a little mini miracle & his Aide just sort of led him on the risers... let go of his hand... & he stood! Here he is clapping to a 2nd grader from the special ed program:
To say I was beaming with pride is a complete understatement.
2014 was a little bit better-- as a 2nd grader, the concert would be similar to the year before with both combined grades again. Furthermore, 2nd graders actually go on first so less wait time was definitely making things look optimistic.
And he did it. He stood on the end closest to the exit (for both sets), but he was up there. And he was proud!
He made it through the whole concert!
One of our main concerns for this year, despite his continued progress, was the timing. Even though the 3rd graders have their own concert, so from a crowd standpoint fewer people would be better, a 7:30 start time on a cold, Thursday night when it's pitch black outside-- not to mention only about an hour shy of when Hayden is usually in bed-- would not be working in our favor.
However, with his entourage of six (grandparents included) he was a little more motivated & up to the task. We came awfully close to a meltdown though, because he wanted to wear a tie at the last minute & I did not have one. We tried one of Dan's but it looked quite silly because we couldn't match anything up. So we left it on for a couple minutes to hopefully satisfy Hayden since he wasn't letting it go, & then finally (thank goodness) he agreed to remove it.
His arrival at school was ultimately perfect-- he skipped right in! Literally.
When they waited in the classroom before it started, though, it was evident he was getting sleepy. He also wore his "tired" throughout most of the concert.
He was up there-- (completely opposite the exit this year, too--) & he did his thing!
No stage fright. Nada.
Stage smile, though? Yes.
This picture does the rest of the writing for me. This right here is what progress looks like.
At the conclusion of the concert he hugged a couple of the kids near him... shook hands with the music teacher... got an arm around him from the Principal... & last but certainly not least, as students were exiting the building, there were at least a couple of them who stopped to tell Hayden that he did great.