There we were, sweltering in an excruciatingly humid auditorium in a tiny church in our small town on the hottest evening of the year. The room was packed with the parents, siblings, grandparents, friends and neighbours of the brave little souls – all under 13 – about to take the stage under the blinding spotlights.
After weeks of my 3rd grader begging me to let her off the solo vocal recital hook, her slow-to-warm temperament in tow, we sat and waited for her turn. It wasn’t until after the intermission, which was a 45-minute wait for her stomach-churning moment, and she was seated away from the loving bosom of her family…waiting…fidgeting…and fighting back tears.
While trying to enjoy the talents of the children performing before her, I couldn’t help but glance repeatedly to the back of the auditorium at her panicked expression. Actually, it was her “I’m gonna puke my guts out all over my new bedazzled sandals” look, and I knew it. I second-guessed encouraging her to face her fears, trust in her abilities, and draw from all the love and support surrounding her. I even wondered if I was damaging her forever by making her follow through with her commitment to her idea to take part in the show. I was dying inside – probably more than she was and felt like I had to do something. (As always, guilt and protecting my children are wonderful motivators for me.) But, as fate would have it, I didn’t need to. What happened next was just plain AWESOME!
When intermission mercifully arrived I darted toward my fretful child, but I was stopped in my sweaty, emotional tracks. Actually, I was unable to reach my wee girl, stuck behind the many kids who had already performed in Glee styled groups, and who were now surrounding my girl with words of encouragement: praising her for “having the guts to do a solo”. Their kind words and pats on her little trembling back were like music to my ears. They were there for her. They didn’t even know her, but they detected her panic, empathized with the enormous task ahead of her and were motivated to help. What was most moving was that they did it spontaneously – with no poking or prodding from the many parents milling about. My girl got the stuff she needed from the kindness of her peers!
I vowed in that moment to “go” anybody I ever heard say anything negative about “this generation of kids”. These kids ROCK!
The intermission ended and the house lights dimmed. A single spotlight illuminated centre stage. My little girl looked tinier than ever standing there all alone. The music started. Her shaky lips parted, and…now you probably need to know how she did, right? The punch line; the big ending; the Holy Grail? Well, that’s a blog for another day! Another enormously important life lesson came out of the second half of the recital. Come back soon and I’ll tell ya all about it. (I know. I’m terrible. TTYL!)
Now I know you have your own examples of how this generation of kids just plain ROCKS! Please tell us about them!
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About this blogger:
Paula D’Orazio RN is a public health nurse with the Early Years Health Program at the Halton Region Health Department. Wanna know more about her? Read her blogs! She’ll tell ya! (She kinda likes to talk.)