Thursday, December 13, 2012

Holiday Music

In kindergarten, my son could barely manage to be on the stage for the holiday show.

In first grade, he was there, hidden in the back row, not very present. I doubt he did any singing.

In second grade, an aide helped him participate a little, mostly he spent his time on stage pointing at me and trying to have a conversation with me even though he was on the farthest bleacher and I in row twenty.

Yesterday, I left work early to make the trek across the chaotic city, not sure what to expect. We had practiced and practiced and practiced, but I knew that:

processing issues
sensory issues
attention issues
impulse control challenges
and, of course, autism

would make the actual show much harder than any rehearsal.

I thought I was prepared for anything.

Not really, though.

I was not prepared for how grown my son looked. I was not prepared for him to beam at me, but not need my help at all. I was not prepared to see him dance -- WHILE SINGING -- and WITH A GIRL. I was not expecting to cry, not anticipating happy tears.

I have loved my son since the day I knew I carried him, and I don't love him more or less based on his "accomplishments," but when he sang that Hanukkah song? Well, I was just bursting with love. So much that I have to borrow the words my grandma used to say to me: Rooster, "I'm so proud of you, I could bust."

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