Last night the second graders did their music performance. It’s the same one that Jake did 2 years ago. I was a little “meh” about going, but Tate was so excited about it that we couldn’t miss it. They have been practicing for this performance since the beginning of the school year. And it showed.
All of the second graders were up on that stage, singing and dancing their hearts out. In the middle of the group, front and center, was a cute little boy with wavy brown hair and a 10,000 mega-watt smile. That little boy was having the time of his life..and it was contagious. That little boy? Well, that was my kid. Tate had been practicing just as long and hard as his peers. He even stayed late one day at school to rehearse with the group. His teacher provided his “spot” (literally, it’s a red circle that says “I stand here.”). He was very religious about staying on his spot. And he sang. And he danced. Oh, how he danced. He smiled–no, he beamed. He shouted out to me, waving and smiling broadly each time he caught my attention. He called out and waved to his teacher. And to his aides. And to the music teacher. He engaged the crowd. He played the crowd. He was in his element.
I beamed because I know how much EVERYTHING went into making that recital possible for him. The social stories with his social worker. The aides giving direction during music class. The music teacher prompting him when needed. His special ed teacher providing visual supports. The encouragement from all facets involved that he could do this. And Tate. He managed his anxiety (he watched the ceiling fans when he started to get overwhelmed). He managed his fear of loud, unexpected noises (when infants/toddlers cried and screeched, Tate flapped and rocked slightly and asked quietly, “what’s that?”). He managed seeing all of the adult faces out in the crowd that were unfamiliar. (He just looked for people he knew and smiled and waved and sent shout outs…see, he’s a true, for-real rock star!!) Sure, he threw out a few “cuckoos” and silly words…but he didn’t shout them. He listened and followed the prompts given to him. It was, well, perfection.
To be fair, Tate has always loved music. He listens to it with his ears, and FEELS it with his whole body. There is something truly magical about watching Tate when he’s singing or dancing to music. Everyone should be able to experience it like he does. I wish I could. He is deliriously happy when music plays.
Suffice it to say that last night, last night was one of those moments. The ones that we’ll talk about when the going gets tough. The ones that we’ll think about when we’re down and smile and feel the warm fuzzy to keep us going. Last night was his time to shine..and he was an absolute rock star.