And now the conclusion to the story I posted on July 2 about the most strikingly meaningful night in recent family history. Last we left our struggling songstress…
“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 my baby, well she started to sing; a little quiet and shaky at first, but on key and in good time with the music. Her voice started out low and (just like Dr. Seuss’ Whos down in Whoville on Christmas morning) it started to grow! By the time she reached the chorus, my girl was belting it out like a pro! And as her voice grew stronger and my shoulders relaxed, my heart filled with pride; not because she was on key or in time, but because she had faced her fear and nailed it!
But wait! There’s more! What followed in that tiny church in the unbearable heat was the stuff of screenplays! The next solo singer was an adorable, vivacious, freckle-faced, 8-year-old girl who took the stage looking poised and ready (much unlike my trembling little one moments earlier). The music started and I expected a confident performance befitting her demeanour. Ummmm… things aren’t always as they appear. Without a word, she broke down, right there before a packed house, in a heart-breaking heap of sobs, tears and calls for “Mommy.” Her mom, seated directly in front of me, jumped up to run to her daughter, but somebody beat her to it. Queue the Beaches soundtrack!
The girl’s best friend, also only 8, was in the audience and, observing her BFF’s distress, had already bolted to her side and was holding and comforting her as she cried. Because the microphone was still in hand, all could hear her sweet, loving words, “Its okay. You don’t have to be scared. I’m here. We’ll do this together!” She walked her friend over to their parents who were ready with more hugs and encouraging words.
A few performers later, that same little soloist took to the stage once again. This time her BFF was by her side, holding her hand and smiling at her. She sang her little heart out while squeezing the tiny hand of her best friend, her greatest supporter, the wind beneath her wings. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house! The significance of that moment, not only for this one little soul, but for all the kids witnessing it, was not lost on anyone.
As I leaned forward with tears rolling down my face, patted the back of the BFF’s mom and said, “Good job, Mom – you’ve got a great girl there,” I realized that an evening I thought might be stressful and a little unpleasant turned out to hold some of the most poignant messages in my daughter’s young life. She still mentions it regularly and remarks on all that she learned that night. Kindness and friendship: that’s what matters. All other virtues fall in there somewhere. Now call your BFF over for movie night and rent a copy of Beaches. I know I did!
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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.)