Friday, December 16, 2011

And I'm so proud of your child, too

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.


  1. Exactly how I feel when I attend concerts put on by my brother's school! Cheering on every kid because I know the effort it took to get there.

  2. This is lovely. You totally made my day. Sounds like a wonderful concert!

  3. Sounds like a total blast! You definitely got a huge smile out of me today with this post! I can only imagine what sort of effort it takes for each of these kids; I wish I could see them for myself. :)

  4. Couldn't have said it better myself. I love~love~love being a cheerleader :-)

  5. Oh, Ellen, this made me all teary-eyed (okay, pregnancy hormones may have something to do with that). All of our kids are all just so awesome. I could see Max's class in my head and I'm proud of them too. :)

  6. Way to go, Max! I know what it's like to do things that people didn't think you could ever do. And you do it, and it's so rewarding.

  7. Exactly! We just had our first ever successful Christmas concert too - what a moment to celebrate!

  8. Even though I'm not pregnant, I still got "all teary eyed" - just like Lisa.

    How beautiful when the gifts and accomplishments of each child are celebrated!

    Brings joy to the world!

  9. Wow, Max participated!!! No drama!!! He had FUN! I love it!

    Hey, this could be a real turning point. You BET I am celebrating right with you--there's no better feeling, too!

  10. I got teary eyed too! You really have a gift for inspiration!

    Thank you!

  11. Celebrating with you and Max, and love that you inspire us all to celebrate all those seemingly little, but really huge accomplishments!

  12. teary eyed here too.

    and loving celebrating right along with you!

  13. For me this is one of 'THE' blog posts of the year that I have read. I attended my sons school show on 7 December this year and he was having a very bad day from the start. His class's involvement didn't take place until quite near the end, and in the event he was having such a meltdown just outside the doors (could hear him before I could see him) that they decide not to bring him in but to take him back to class to chill out. Although disappointed that I didn't get to see him perform it was still such a joy to be there and see the achievements of every other child in the school (and the teachers!). I happily clapped and cheered for all the other classes as proud as the actual parents of those children and my little man did great in the following days performance!

  14. This lovely post takes me back years ago when I was teaching a Sunday school class for exceptional children. We had made an orchestra out of oatmeal boxes and all the things you can imagine.

    Donny, who had autism, was to bang coconut shells to The Nutcracker Suite in the church Christmas play. He was so agitated that I held him on my lap, not knowing what to expect.

    When The Nutcracker Suite began, that precious child jumped off my lap, ran to the front, did his part, came back and sat down. I couldn't have been more proud if he had been my own child.

    Thanks for reminding me!

  15. Aww absolutely BEAUTIFUL Ellen! So much love and heart in this post!

  16. This is one of my favorite posts!

  17. Thanks, all. It really was memorable. I can't share the video for privacy reasons, because you can see other students, but Max just looks ebullient.

    Devina and Alison: YEAH!!!!!

    Jane, that is such a lovely memory. And Lynsey, in other years, I've mostly also only celebrated other kids' performances because Max wouldn't perform. Have hope!


Thanks for sharing!