Today was the culmination of my 6-year-old daughter’s big day: it was her turn to participate in the kindergarten musical. She’s been inviting friends, neighbors, and strangers during the days leading up to it, and even though the musical would last a short 30 minutes, she’s been singing the songs and practicing the dances for weeks. My mom-heart was overflowing with joy and excitement when I saw my darling girl take her place on the choral risers. Greetings and introductions were made and then the children began to sing.
As the students sang with smiles on their faces, one little boy stood out from the rest. He was having the beginning of a breakdown. His screeches could be heard over the songs. His stomping, I’m sure, was felt on the risers by the other students who continued to sing merrily. Two teachers stood by his side, helping him through.
And then you came along—his mother.
You walked across the gym, all eyes on you, with the tenderness only a mother could offer. So calm. So poised. So confident. I marveled at your ability to be the peace your son needed at that moment. He responded to your presence. He held your hand. He looked your way. And your presence kept him on stage. Eventually, the screaming stopped. The jumping turned to swaying. He took one breath at a time. You sat on the floor off to the side and were his rock.
RELATED: The Struggle You Don’t See In a Special Needs Family
My heart swelled with emotion and I prayed he would get through. I prayed you would get to enjoy your son like I was enjoying my daughter. And then suddenly, he began to clap and shriek with glee when his favorite song began. He continued to dance and play along until the show came to a close.
He did it. He made it through the entire performance. Because of you. He smiled. He delighted in the songs. Because of you. He joined his peers in his kindergarten musical. Because of you. It took a team, but he did it. And it was a glorious thing to watch.
After the show, I got swept up with congratulating my daughter, hugs, and kisses, and taking family photos. She couldn’t have been happier. It was a sweet moment for all. But just a few hours later, I find myself thinking of you and your son and I just have to tell you a few things, from my mom-heart to yours.
I hope, dear momma, as you put yourself on display by sitting next to your son, you held your head high. Your courage was remarkable and your steady love and compassion were tangible.
I hope, dear momma, you didn’t worry for one second that your son was disrupting the show. He made it better. We were honored to watch him overcome and rejoiced that he achieved participation in his kindergarten musical.
I hope, dear momma, you didn’t feel like you or your family were a burden because your son needed two aides by his side during the performance. Their care and attention to him assured us that the goodness of humanity lives on.
I can only imagine your day-to-day life, the hard situations, the meetings, the exhaustion, and what you carry as the mom of a son with special needs. My heart hopes you have great joy as well. I pray that’s your reality.
Whatever your story is, I’m grateful to have witnessed 30 minutes of it. In only 30 minutes, you taught me a great deal about motherhood, endurance, and love. And I just wanted to say thank you.