Oh, that concert. That Christmas concert. It has filled me with delight and dread and guilt and I haven't even attended it yet. Is this how all you parents of exceptional children have been feeling all along? Sick with worry that your child will stand out more than every other day? Have you felt sad that they might find discomfort and even pain in what is supposed to be a celebration of the season? How cruel a paradox is this concert? I know that some neurotypical children will pick their nose and cry instead of sing like angels. When our children act strangely they will draw attention, yes; but that attention is not what makes this concert hurt. The attention will be kind and positive for the most part. The audience will fall all over themselves to support this inclusive little gang because people, for the most part, are pretty cool. The problem is the feeling you get inside when you prepare your child for an event and you realize that you have lowered your expectations in fear and the guilt that comes along with that can be paralyzing. Seem dramatic? That's because it is. Do I love celebrating every milestone Kate reaches? Of course! Do I immediately compare/wonder/imagine other scenarios? Yes. Shamefully, I do. You don't? Tell me your secret. I don't want your kids. I don't want your version of family. I want mine. I just wish I could manage these thoughts.
So, tonight I will take Kate to the concert that Alex had to convince me was a good idea. Oh, how difficult it is to practice what you preach. I know the whole room will support whatever way she is able to participate in this event. It is not their expectations that I am worried about. It is my own. I won't post this until I have an update for you. My precious Kate will steal the show, this I know. I hope I can get out of my way long enough to enjoy it for what it is. Her special night.
She rocked it. She owned it. My heart burst with pride and not once did I let those thoughts of what might have been cloud my brain. Kate is teaching me so much. I won't write another word because this video speaks for itself:
Happy Mail to:
27 Wellington Row
Saint John, NB
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)