Saturday, May 4, 2013

How I Became a Dance Mom For Just a Moment

My son is painfully shy when it comes to crowds.  So when he came home with a note saying, “your child has volunteered for a speaking part in our End-of-Year program” I was pretty sure they had him confused with a different kid.  My child does not simply volunteer for speaking parts.

He did indeed confirm that this was true so we started working on his one line.  After one practice session he got frustrated and wanted to quit.  After much encouragement, a lot of practice, and maybe a bribe or two he decided he would stick with it.  The morning of the big performance he was cool as a refrigerated cucumber.  (Because I’m pretty sure a cucumber is not inherently more cool than any other vegetable and a cucumber left out on the counter would lead to the saying “room temperature like a cucumber.”)

“Make sure you say your line loud enough so everyone can hear you.”
“I will,” he said nonchalantly “I’m just saying it quiet right now because I just woke up.  When I’m more awake I’ll say it louder.”
Ok, Robert Deniro.

By the time he was at the front of his class getting ready to perform all his swagger was gone though.  They had four songs to sing before they got to their play.  Hudson stood mute and still through the entire first song.  I tried standing at the back and doing the motions for “Five Little Monkeys” with him to encourage him to participate.  He looked at me and shook his head.  I chicken danced during the chicken dance.  He looked at me and shook his head.  By the time, we got to “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” I was in full dance mom mode.  He shook his head and then started rubbing his eyes, fighting back the tears.  I’m telling myself it was nerves and not the fact that he was mortified that his mom had just zip-a-dee-doo-dahed herself through an entire number right there in front of all his friends.

This was one of my more painful mom moments.  It took everything inside me not to go up to the front of that class and load him in the car and take him home.  But I know that this is a battle that he is going to have to face sooner or later.  So he stayed and I watched, trying not to cry myself.  I held my breath as it came to his turn.

“He walked up and down the streets….holding himself very straight…so as not to upset his caps.  As he went along….he called…” came his little voice with only minor assistance from his teacher.

I asked him afterwards if he had been nervous.  This was met with just a nod of the head.  So I am one proud momma today.  In exchange for Hudson’s bravery I will promise never to dance in front of his classmates again.

My son is the one not participating in Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah.

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