Stormy clouds hung over Tween Two.
In full force he fought the demons that make him crack.break.fall apart.
It was the last week of term. The school production was in full swing with Tween Two taking on a front and centre role.
He learnt the lines, he sang the songs; solos were practiced and practiced. He examined the life of his character.
The opening night was beyond spectacular. The crowds cheered at the incredible display of 70 children having the time of their lives; the stunning singing, the acting, the words.
The second night arrives; a few mistakes, a missed line, a yawn. Tween Two was primed and ready to deliver his piece. He missed a beat, memory went blank – eyes widened. The cast nudged in, a heart beat, just a fumbled word, phew… the scene moves on and words are remembered.
Sitting in the second row I noticed a physical change. A squaring of shoulders, a face turned to thunder. The tears begin to fall.
My stomach lurched, the play continued.
Its the solo act, the singing of a narrative song. Tween Two steps to the front of the stage, thick with glistening shine, chin out and sings.
The voice is clear, striking, moving. The crowd holds its breath, the tears continue to flow. He does it. He makes it through, not just as a struggle but as a sound byte that delivers one of his best.
Standing ovations for the whole cast and the lumbering thankfulness of a mother.
Backstage I gather my 10 year old into my arms, I wrap him in kisses and take him home.
I am so full-blown proud that he held it together, that he really, really understood what resilience really feels like. Its not just a word tossed about during class time, not just a stamp on a page that ticks the box.
Resilence is a physical, a mental and whole lot of guts to keep going, to stand up and stand out. Its a moment, a time that once strongly felt enables anyone to rise up and be counted.
And my mother pride saw the growing up of Tween Two, his gathering of inner strength and the breaking away of the boy that stood in his way.
The toughness of the moment led to a deep sleep that gave silver lining in the morning.
5 July 2015
Ps. On the cold June night when my second child flooded his face with tears in the middle of the school production, I did everything I could not to rush onto the stage to cuddle him. To watch your young child soldier on, to sing an incredible piece whilst flooding the floor with his tears of inner despair and disappointment was heart wrenching.
Reflecting back on this moment I still feel slightly sick. I’m also incredibly proud of his strength to continue on – I wonder what I would have done if it was me?
As parents in the thick of parenting we can forget that our children are tough, or can be tough in circumstances we can’t predict. We are lucky to be watchers and to share their path of discovery.
Merciful holidays…. and it begins all again next week.
What toughness have your children shown you?
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however that words can enlighten or dishearten.