Need a good smile? Find yourself a 1st grader that has a school play coming up and invite yourself to go!
Cole’s 1st grade play was last night – I have to admit, I was more nervous than I let on. In the past, Cole has shut down any time he is in the spot light or there is a crowd cheering for him. During his kindergarten performance, he dropped his chin to his chest and just stood on stage. During the shamrock final mile, he walked because he was intimidated, and he didn’t enjoy the cheering. On his birthday, we NEVER sing Happy Birthday because he truly doesn’t enjoy it. But when he is home with just us, he is a huge ham. Christian and I have already seen Cole’s rendition of the play several times, and I can sing along with all the songs. BUT given his past experience…was I nervous for his first grade play? You bet!!!!
Recently, I read a really interesting article in February 2011 Yoga Journal (while I was sitting in the ortho’s office waiting to hear that I did have a stress fracture). The article is titled “I can see clearly now” and is about understanding ways your mind works so you can become closer to your true self. At one point, the article discusses how memories can bring both pleasure and they can cause agitation. One example they gave was a young girl –
“The parent of an exuberant five-year-old who offers to bring a dish to the table may call out, ‘Be careful, don’t drop it,’ making the child suddenly fearful and self-conscious (which may in fact lead to her dropping the dish!). In these cases, operating from memory can get in the way of experiencing the person in that moment as a unique individual entitled to try new things”
The weeks leading into the play, Christian and I made a deal to NOT discuss any of Cole’s past performances. He deserves a clean slate just like everyone else. We mirrored his excitement about the play. We listened to the songs over and over again.
It was performance time – and Cole rocked it on stage! He smiled the whole time! His booty was shaking (honestly, he couldn’t keep still). He even added his own dance moves to the mix! The entire production was heart warming. It made me laugh. Yes! It made me cry. And I have never been so happy or so proud to see my son so happy. I’ve said it a million times about that crazy kid – I just want him to find his happy place! He sure did find it last night!
I also think a huge part of his success was in part to his wonderful teacher and music teacher. Cole’s entire class were blue birds in the play. Four kids from the entire 1st grade had “roles” in the play – the narrator, the frog, the toad, and the snail. Cole was originally selected to be the understudy to the snail (Yes! that letter home made me laugh too! an understudy, in first grade!). This past week, both his teacher and music teacher recognized how much Cole loved being the snail, so they made an addition to the playbill, and they added a “S” to the snail role. There were now two snails! Thank you to both of them for recognizing Cole’s excitement for the play! and a big Thank you for giving him a chance to find his happy place!
Give people a chance to find their happy place! Most importantly, find your own happy place! We are all unique individuals who are entitled to try new and old things without preconceived notions and with room to breath.
(Let me know if you’d like the whole article from Yoga Journal – I’m happy to share my copy!)