Saturday, December 19, 2009

Spencer - not our ham

The Friday before school dismissed for the Christmas break, our school had the service of Lessons and Carols.  If you don't know what this is, it is a chapel service where they alternate reading a scripture and singing a holiday carol.  At school, each of the lower grades and the middle school choir took turns singing the carols.  There is serious danger of heart-melting.

After the service was over, my dear friend Jennifer came up to me looking quite rattled.  And, Jen's not the rattled type.  She said, "Is Spencer ok?!"  Apparently, after Kindergarten finished performing (during which he did the best public group performance I've ever seen him do.  I mean, really!  Big arm movements, I could hear him singing loud.  Awesome!) he returned to sit on the ground with his class.  I couldn't see him, but Jen could.  She said he went completely pale and his eyes rolled back in his head.  He started to tip over, but then he seemed to snap out of it.  She said, honestly, she almost kicked her shoes off and was plotting her course over the people in front of her to get to him.

I asked him about it later and he ducked his head, came in for an embarrassed hug and said, "I was just embarrassed!"

OK - three things about this:

1) My heart BREAKS that my child is so scared of performing in public that the relief of being done with it almost makes him pass out. I kind of want to wrap him in his "bungie" and tell him he never has to do it again!  (And a little part of me wonders if I got the wrong baby at the hospital. Thank goodness he looks just like his sister.)

2)  I must not try to overcompensate for his fear.  I must not tell him daily, "You know performing for people is no big deal!" or "What about performing makes you so nervous?" or "Next time, bend your knees and keep breathing.  You don't want to be the kid that falls off the back of the bleachers!"  I'm quite sure I could obsess him right into a case of agoraphobia.

3)  The bits of my broken heart completely swell over dear friends like Jennifer who care so much for my child.  There is no doubt in my mind that my completely socially-acceptable, more-class-in-her-little-finger-than-I-could-have-in-a-lifetime friend would have gone over the tops of people to get to Spence if he needed help.  (And, then there were her multiple texts checking on him and her threat to call if I didn't answer said texts more promptly.)  But then, when I stop and think about it, I can come up with at least ten other people that would completely disregard their social decorum if either of our kids needed them.  It's a little overwhelming to wrap your head around when you try to think about it.  It chokes me up a bit.

So, my conclusion.  We'll be thankful we go to our amazing school where they help kids get comfortable with public appearance (did I mention that each member of the graduating class gives a commencement address - and any one of them is good enough to be the sole speech?)  I will let them work their magic and try to keep my neurotic mothering out of the way.

But mostly, I'll be thankful for the blessing of our friendships with people like Jen.


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