I am at Max's school holiday concert, and I am on a bliss high. Max's class hasn't even gone yet; it's the other kids who are making me this happy. As parents of kids with special needs, we know just what goes into the successes our kids have, and how even small achievements can seem like big-time wonders. And so I am cheering for your child along with mine, and feeling the pride.
I watch your child, the M.C. of the event, as he enthusiastically announces each song. I know just what it takes for our kids to articulate words like that, and what a triumph it is. And I am celebrating right along with you.
I watch your child jingling bells for The Snowmen Go Marching. I watch your child trying hard to get his iPad to speak his name, and he does. I know just what it takes for our kids to move a hand or finger like that. And I am celebrating right along with you.
I watch your child walking into the performance space in her walker. And, wow, she is cruising. I know how mind-boggling awesome it is when the child you were told might never walk is on the go. And I am celebrating right along with you.
I watch your child playing "Jingle Bells" on the keyboard set front of his wheelchair. "C C C, C C C" chants the music teacher, and your child listens intently and gingerly taps out the notes. I know what a feat it is to learn to play. And I am celebrating right along with you.
I watch your child looking impossibly adorable in a big white chef's hat that keeps falling over her eyes. She is singing along to Chicken Soup With Rice when she's not pushing up her hat and doing a great job of stirring the air with her wooden spoon. And I see your child standing next to her, belting out the words loudly and pointedly. I know what a feat it is for our kids to sing. And I am celebrating right along with you.
I see my child standing with his class, singing Rock and Roll Snowman. He is playing a purple cardboard guitar, swaying and generally rocking out. This is the first time he has willingly and happily participated in a concert, and he is smiling the most gigantic smile.
And I know that you are celebrating right along with me.