“HEY! It’s the crazy kid!”
I stood with my Son, holding his hand tightly, while this comment reverberated in my head.
The little angel standing in front of me was blue-eyed and flaxen haired. A perfect little mouth curled into the harsh words that spilled from her rose-coloured lips.
“THERE! it is him! The kids who went crazy on stage! Look Dad!”
A year ago I would likely have burst into tears before this six or seven year old girl. Now, I simply smiled and said “Yes, he sure did have fun! What a crazy dancer he is!”
My son has Autism.
He does not act like the other 19 children in his JK/SK class, including his younger brother.
At the spring assembly he did get up on the stage with his class and he did participate with his class while they preformed. And, I know I am just a tad bias, but Hell! that kid smoked the others in the dancing department. I’ve never seen a 6 yr old dance his little heart out like he did.
Dance like no one is watching. That personified Lincoln.
I could feel the joy he was experiencing, and, if the other parents stopped thinking “Good GOD! what is that child doing???!? What is wrong with him? (because you know human nature and all, someone had to be thinking that) then they would also see how much pure emotion was flowing on that stage for my little boy.
His teacher called me the day prior and asked if maybe he should sit out.
I am not sure if I felt cheated just then or, if I felt betrayed.
I wanted to enjoy the 1st concert my children participated in. I wanted to be able to sit in the audience and take pictures and wave and do all the goofy things that Mom’s and Dad’s do.
It seemed like Autism was taking all my good experiences away and leaving me all the tough stuff no one much wanted.
I decided to promote my faith in Lincoln being mature enough to handle the concert.
I also did not want to show my other son, the one who told me he wasn’t going to sing in the school concert, that there was an excuse for not participating in a “team” event. Our kids need to feel responsible to others, to know that even if you are afraid or nervous you can still be brave and face these things and most times you will have fun and be glad you did.
Grayson’s ‘air guitar’ playing during “Spring is in the air” showed me I made a good choice. When he gave me multiple ‘thumbs up’ from my spot beside the stage (not in the audience) I knew I did the best I could and he appreciated me.
So what if I stood near the stage just “incase” something should go awry. I got to watch my kids.
When Lincoln wandered out of line, Grayson kindly took his arm and lead him back. He showed great compassion and understanding and my heart swelled with pride. Even now I am tearing up just remembering.
As we walked back to the children’s classroom immediately after the concert Lincoln exclaimed with great gusto “I’m a STAR! They loved me. They LOVED ME!!” and I couldn’t agree more.
Parents, don’t deny your child this moment JUST because he/she has Autism.
Let them shine and be proud.
Shine on, sweet Son. Shine on.