Saturday, August 2, 2014

First piano recital

The boys had their first piano recital today.  I couldn't be prouder.

M played his songs perfectly after psyching me out all morning with fumble fingers.  I think he must have been messing with me!

L played so well, too, and most importantly, played on after his one big clunker.  As the youngest 'performer', he had already won the crowd over by the time he scrambled up onto the piano bench and even got an audible "awwww" with his bow at the end.

My favorite moment of the day, though, came later.  After the recital, the teachers were giving away a few door prizes, and M had his heart set on winning one.   When they called the last ticket number (not ours) I looked over to see him almost blinking back tears.  He pulled it together and within a second or two, he was good again. But I could see that, for a moment, he had been telling himself something.

I was so proud that he fought off those tears because...drumroll... he was having a reaction this morning.  For the first time in ages, he woke up with a classicly swollen eye and was crying before he even made it to the shower. He had both baking soda and coconut before we left for the recital, and his eye went down before too long, but I really wasn't sure how the day was going to turn out.  

In the car on the way home, I told him that I had noticed that moment and I was so proud of him.  I asked what he told himself to stop from breaking down.  He said, "I thought: 'There's no use crying like that' to myself three times.

1.  I have never, not ever once, seen him self-manage his emotions like that during a reaction.  His reaction self and normal self can be like Jekyll and Hyde...  Things he normally does, like "shake it off" become almost impossible.  He normally needs someone walking him through it, helping him see that whatever it is isn't as big of a deal as it feels.  Until today I actually thought it wasn't possible. But he did it!

2.  It was hard.  Ridiculous though it may be, in that moment he was temporarily very upset not to be chosen.  In his reaction state of mind, it was overwhelming disappointment.  But then he cooled it! He worked to keep it together even though the meltdown would have been "easier".

3. Three times!  Not only did he work to convince himself, he stuck with it until it worked.  He is a perseverant child, but I wouldn't have necessarily expected that.

I had to ask myself - if he ever gets to the point when he can fully manage his reactions (consistently make appropriate choices and manage emotions), will I take him off the diet?  I don't know...  It makes everything so much harder.  Things he can normally do without a second thought become major accomplishments, so I'm not sure it would be worth the work to him.

 But this still feels huge.  He overcame his reaction.  He can!


  1. That is HUGH! Please tell him how proud I am of him. There are s0me adults that cannot do that!

    As for the diet, I would NOT change a thing. It is working. Why even take a chance? Especially when he has a very physical reaction (eye swelling). Who knows what is going on inside that you cannot see?

    I have loved reading your blog. It is so nice to see there are great parents out there like you. I teach Kindergarten and there are many times I wonder how some kids survive :(


  2. Thank you, Kim, for your support and kind words. I'm still proud about that moment.

    Yeah, I think honestly if I told him he could go off tomorrow, he'd say no thank you. He hates the reactions more than anyone!

  3. Yay Miles! Man, I need to try his technique. I totally started crying for a completely silly reason yesterday (I got really embarrassed by something) and I tried to tell myself not to cry -- and it didn't work. I'm going to try Miles' way.

    Hooray for the piano recital! That's funny Miles kept messing up and then got it completely right. And bravo for Lennon continuing even though he messed up!

    1. Being embarrassed is my crying kryptonite! I always cry when I'm embarrassed.