Stage Fright

Monday, May 6, 2019

If you know my eldest, you know how incredibly sweet she is. She's full of energy, she loves to laugh, and she makes the best silly faces.

From the time she was about six or seventh months old she began dancing, swaying to music, and when she learned to talk - she would belt out allll the lyrics to our favorite jams. Ava has always been pretty outgoing, she makes friends very easily, and when she is in her element, she's golden! Last week our girl had her very first kindergarten musical concert and everyone in our family was S T O K E D! I packed the digital camera, the film camera, and the video recorder... Its safe to say I didn't want to miss a moment. Justin left work early, we had a pizza night for celebration, I mean this was a pretty big deal for our family. We moved from Texas right before Ava was to have her *actual* first concert, so in my typical "over the top" mom fashion, I really wanted to make this milestone special for my baby.

We picked out a pretty dress for Ava to wear, I brushed her hair and parted it just the way she likes, and she slid on some cowgirl boots and headed for concert. We got to her school well before everyone else (thanks, babe) since daddy's motto is, "If you're not fifteen minutes early than you are fifteen minutes late." We walked into the school house and found our seats centered really close to the performance stage. Justin and Ava went to get a program and remembered that there was also a raffle ticket/ scavenger hunt type of event going on. The girls were elated. When the chairs in the room began to fill with more people, we realized that it was almost time for the big show. All the kinders were called outside to line up in order... I wanted to photograph that part as well but Mr. Liam had other plans (thank God for my lillebaby). I settled back into my seat right before the kiddos were lining up on the stage.

Mr. Mitchel, the music teacher, soon stood right in front of the kinders and began to lead them in song. This was it. I had my camera out, Justin had the video recorder live with a steady hand and then I noticed that my girl's face didn't shout *happy* like it did just a few moments ago... what was up? I thought it might just be her placement in line (the girl beside her was doing a lot of hand motions RIGHT in front of Ava's face). I figured she'd position herself differently for the next number... but she didn't. Her face went from not happy to that look you get right before you burst into tears. I put my camera down and I whispered to Justin, "Does it look like something is wrong?" He looked at me a little confused but he shook his head.

The mama bear in me knew I needed to talk to her. They were almost through their third song when I went behind the stage and talked to a teacher. I explained what I saw and what I felt and she let me go and grab my child. I felt weird standing on that stage in front of all those parents but I called for Ava and she came down pretty quickly. Once off stage I asked her what was wrong and she said, "Mommy. I'm just a little scared. There's a lot of people." I hugged her. I never once imagined that my child would have stage fright because of her love of dancing and singing... I didn't consider that this was her first time in a large crowd singing for folks she didn't even know.

I pulled her in again and we were soon greeted by Olivia and daddy. We asked Ava if she wanted to try and sing another song, but she didn't want to and that was okay. We went and did the scavenger hunt and the girls participated in a cupcake walk, card trick game, and they got quite a few sweet treats to boot. The night ended well.

Even though the stage fright caught us off guard, i think its important for us to remember that who our kids are isn't always going to reflect their reactions in isolated situations. I'm really glad I followed my instincts, even if disruptive. There are few things more important than the comfortability of my children and its absolutely okay to pull them out when we know they are not okay. I'd rather my daughter look back and remember that we advocated for her rather than remembering how scared she felt and how we sat and watched.

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