Friday, November 09, 2007
My son rocks!
I have done terrible things with Photoshop to erase F's identity, but I just had to share this picture.
Sometimes as a parent, amidst all your despairing and wringing of hands, a moment comes that is just so perfect, so proud, that all the crap is blown away, at least for a while, and you're left with a warm glow in its place.
Those moments are usually pretty banal to the casual observer. A certain hug, a particularly unusual or amazingly apt observation, an exchange witnessed.
Tonight, this was mine.
This time last year, F's friend was picked up from our place en route to the school music concert, put on by and for students of the music program. F begged for us to tag along. I wasn't doing anything special, so agreed. He sat through the concert riveted. He sang along to the songs, clapped and cheered, and at the end, announced that he wanted to join the music program. He wanted to be on that stage next year. I didn't take him that seriously, but he remembered when school started this year.
In fact, since that concert a year ago, when a trio of his schoolmates brought the house down playing ACDC's 'TNT', he has developed a passion for rock music and ACDC in particular. ('Mum, I think I prefer the classics to recent music,' he told me today as we rode to the music concert. 'I think ACDC is better than Sneaky Sound System, after all.')
Tonight, I watched as he once again sat riveted to all the performances. He cheered on his friends. He even counselled a couple of them about stage fright (he assured them that they would 'be great once they got on the stage'). During his song, 'Hit the Road Jack', he unexpectedly stood up out of his seat during his guitar solo and proceeded to rock it out, applying lashings of stage presence. During the group song that followed, he stood beaming beside a friend (the one who is not allowed to play with him anymore, yet spent the concert by his side, giggling and chatting excitedly) and sang along with great gusto, dancing and swinging his hips in the front row.
This is such a turnaround for the boy who has always been reluctant to join group activities and performances. And seeing the way he mixed with the other kids so easily and with such reciprocal affection has made my day and will carry me right through the weekend.
At the end of his number, I stood up and he gave me a high-five, then leapt off the stage to give me a hug, before running to join his friends on the floor for the final, group performance.
After the show finished, he jumped around with a couple of friends for a while, beaming as a few grown-ups (and a couple of kids) approached him to congratulate him on his passionate solo.
Then, he hunted down his music teacher to solemnly thank her for teaching him 'Hit the Road Jack'.
'You did a really good job. You did well,' he said.
'Yes, you did do well.'
'No, he was saying YOU did well. To teach him,' I said.
'Oh. Thank you, F.'
F loves his music teacher and so do we. She has been nothing but encouraging and has stoked his enthusiasm for the subject and, by way of gentle encouragement, got him to the stage where he is confident to tackle new and hard things, and even perform them in public.
There is a teacher's aide in F's classroom who works part-time with two students who have special needs. (Not at all with F, I might add.) She is a really lovely woman and adds a much-needed touch of warmth to the classroom. I have seen her comfort F on a couple of occasions. This afternoon when I picked F up from school, she was in charge of the classroom for the afternoon. F's friend pulled his mother and I in.
'Sorry,' said the mother. 'L invited us in.'
'COme IN!' she said. 'The more the merrier!'
The class was laughing and joking and having a marvellous time. She was telling them how wonderful the music program sneak peek had been that afternoon and that she just might come to the concert.
Well, to my amazement, she came. She was the only teacher (other than the music teachers) to do so. At the end, she made a point of walking over to F and shaking his hand and congratulating him on his performance.
I am absolutely delighted that F has such great teachers, even if they are not his classroom teacher.
It's not only your kids who do small, perfect things that make you happy to be alive.