This week was a big one for M. He sang with the senior choir in their big concert. Ninety kids and a live band. Six months of practicing. Despite wanting to quit from time to time, he stuck with it. There he was on Friday, standing in the front row and singing his little heart out. And two very proud parents and one grandmother clapping like mad.
The senior choir concert is a very big deal at M’s school. They start practicing in October and perform at the Remembrance Day and Holiday concerts. In January, they start preparing for the spring performance. Not only do the kids have to learn 12-15 songs, they have to master the actions as well. They have t-shirts made and almost everyone at school wears one on the day of the big show.
For M, the concert is a huge accomplishment. Learning the songs wasn’t easy for him. A couple of months ago, he was on the verge of quitting. He was anxious not being able to master all the words. We spoke to his teacher, who reassured M that there was still lots of time to learn the songs. So he went back to the weekly practices.
But as a child with ADHD, his biggest challenge was coping with the chaos inherent in such a large group. Whether it was deliberate or just a coincidence, he stood on the end of the first row, where he had room to move. As I watched him perform, I noticed that he was always a couple of steps away from the other children. He created just enough space for himself to be comfortable, yet he was still clearly part of the group. He didn’t smile a great deal – he was focused on the performance.
Of course, we were proud of him – not just for sticking it out, but also finding a way to make it work for him. We didn’t have a single call from the school about his behaviour during practice. Other than occasional words of encouragement, we had very little to do with his success. This is something he did on his own. Another milestone met.