On being with the band...
Last night was the first band concert ever for my Chimp. He chose to play the trombone for unknown reasons and this was the first concert. He was hysterically crying before we left the house because he did not want to wear a shirt with buttons, or pants with a zipper. I could also tell he was nervous about the performance and it was causing a major meltdown.
When he was younger, he would cry any time he was on stage or in front of people. He would never sing, perform or participate in anything. He had run off stage on occasion as well. This was a big night.
We arrived at the high school and the kids were all warming up. He did not want to set up his instrument to practice and he refused to take off his Minecraft Creeper Hoodie. We told him to take it off before he went on stage. We then had to leave him with his bandmates and the band teacher to take our seats. The band teacher told us that after the entire concert was over, we were to meet her by their auditorium seats, sign them out and then go collected their instrument cases from the cafeteria.
We did not realize it was going to be multiple schools and grades performing the same night. When it was our son's turn, we could see him walking up on stage, in the hoodie. The hoodie was lime green and impossible to miss, it def was not what I wanted him to wear on stage, but it gave our boy a sense of comfort and safety~I could also see that it calmed him in a way that we could not. He was in the back row, and there were three elementary schools performing for the first time together. A ton of kids, and we had no idea that is the way they would be performing. We could not really see him because he was in the back, but he stayed up there for the performance. We watched him exit the stage and then go back to his seating area.
The concert was long. Every grade would get on stage, perform, exit, more walk on, prep, etc. We were not expecting this. We just thought it would be our school and would be an hour at most.
Towards the last performances I could see him getting up from the auditorium seats again and he was pacing in the aisles. I could see he was visibly upset and anxious. I went down to where he was and the band teacher approached me and asked me if I was his Mother. I said "Yes." She said that Griffin was clearly getting overwhelmed with the loudness, sounds and stimulation and it was totally okay if he left. I told him he should go back to his seat and the band teacher said, "It really is okay. I totally understand." She was an Angel and she will never know how much that meant to me and my son. Just the fact that she recognized how much he was struggling was amazing to me. I will never forget the kindness she showed.
I led him out of the auditorium and the second we left the doors he started crying. He was sobbing that he was sorry he ruined the concert. My heart was breaking. I told him he was awesome. I told him that we heard his trombone out of all of them on stage and he was an excellent musician and how proud we were that he got on that huge high school stage. A major accomplishment.
And...as I left the auditorium, I could feel everyone looking..and wondering why this kid was leaving. If you saw that child that left before the concert was over, I hope you can understand that you never know what another family is facing. You never know the circumstances and struggles of any child by just looking at them.
And, yes, he was wearing a lime green hoodie and I have never been prouder of him in my life.