My baby girl # 2 got offered this amazing opportunity. An opportunity that my family has been blessed once before to do. She is working with FAME as a FAMEOUS Fourth Grader. Anyone remember this? My # 1 did this two years ago. It is basically a unique program that is paid for through the FAME program. She gets to spend all this week workshopping with a composer and working with the other chosen fourth graders working a composition piece. Then they work with the ballet company and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and they present it in the spring. You can read more about it here.
#2 has waited since that very moment #1 did it to do it. She is my music lover and the girl lives and breaths music. She is working on her second year of piano lessons. We decided to do piano early on because her neuropsychologist recommended it to help give her an outlet that she cannot normally find because of the her PDD. He was right on!
However, this opportunity, though in her wheelhouse, presented a challenge. A room full of strange kids, lots of technology (something that scares the crud out of her if she doesn't know what she is doing) and these adults all telling her what to do.
I got there a little late and my father in law was with her. I could see her before she saw me and I could see the big tears about ready to shed. Finally, she realizes I am there and runs to be by my side and says, "We gotta leave." I looked at her and just listened. She continues telling me that it is okay to quit. I responded, "no." She cries harder. I hug her and say, "Do you really not want to do this?" She sits by me with the biggest tears and says, "Yes, let's go."
All I could think of in that moment were all the things in my life that I walked away from because I was scared. The moments I passed because of my own anxiety. I was NOT going to let that happen. I took her in the hallway and I pulled the mom card. The one that gives me free reign over my baby girls.
I said, "You are not quitting. I know how bad you have wanted to do this and how much you prayed for the opportunity to do it. Here it is, I won't let you walk away! Now hug me hard, quit crying and go in there and we will figure it out together." She did just what I told her.
We waited anxiously for the attention of the leader and I told her, "My girl needs someone to help her with the technology." She seemed irritated but found her a buddy and her tone was weird as she talked with my #2. Those are two things that #2 picks up on. But I wasn't about to let someone's rushed moment inflict on her experience. I waited a moment to be sure she met her needs and I sat back and watched as she worked with the composer and the leader.
And it continued touch and go for a few because the leader couldn't take the time to catch #2 up and help her work on this new software or new computer. I told #2 to stand firm that she needed help. I wanted her to grasp this opportunity and not let anyone take it from her.
Finally, by the end she made a friend and I think that gave her more confidence. I will never forget the neuropsychologist words to me that sometimes I have to force her to do things she may not want to and remember that parents just sometimes know better.
I just know it is hard to push when they don't want to be pushed. But I also know when she was not upset and worked up about this new social environment that this was something that she has wanted to do since she was 7. Therefore, I was making it happen regardless of her social struggles or some grumpy lady that didn't read that invisible sign that I swear I should carry and place around her neck for just this stuff. But I figure….
“Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.”