In case you aren't a frequent reader, my son has strong opinions. He can dig his heals in unlike anyone I know. Last night we made it through a major hurdle....the school concert.
Ben does not enjoy singing. He especially does not enjoy singing in groups. And most of all, he hates being on a stage. As luck would have it, his particular class had to stand in the front row. Aside from the very nature of the event, there were many other things wrong with this particular concert in Ben's eyes. One was they had to wear a red flower pinned to a white shirt. "A flower?" he shuddered. "I cannot believe they are making us wear a FLOWER!"
And so leading up to this concert, the goals we set were simple. He would go, he would dress accordingly, and he would move his mouth. That was it. I didn't need him to be a show pony. I just needed him to show up.
And he did.
He looked miserable. His eyes were cast downward the whole time, but I was smiling big because he was there.
I ran out of the gym so I would not have to endure too many "What was wrong with Ben?" comments from well-meaning but ill-informed people. But I ran into a staff member who got it and Ben. She gave my guy a high five and I gave him a hug.
And then we set off to get some ice cream.
Some might quibble with my standards. Maybe someday I will regret that they aren't high enough, but I told Ben (and I believe it) that doing something you don't want to, especially if it makes you scared, is something I will always be proud of.
So don't feel bad for Ben or me.
His head may have been down and he may have looked miserable, but he was there. He wore that flower the entire time, and at the very end of the very last song, I caught his eye as he risked a quick glance up and out at the audience. He admitted later that his neck was sore from looking down for so long, but it was worth it because, in his words, "I did it, didn't I?"
It's easy to take for granted what to others is no big deal. I think as parents, if we are watching, we understand what the big deals are even when others don't. My job is and always will be to remain Ben's number one fan.
On that score, we are more than fine.