last night was a big night for my ben boy.
y'all know that he attends a special dance program for kiddos with special needs.
and last night was their big christmas recital.
we took him to rehearsal, got him all dressed up in his reindeer costume, waited for what seemed like eternity, and finally watched him rehearse on stage.
he did not perform at all.
instead he refused to stand up, wouldn't do one motion, sing one note.
instead he SOBBED. hugged his helper and sobbed.
he was scared of the lights, scared of the people, scared of the loud music.
he did not like it one bit.
no, he despised it.
i sat helplessly in the audience, my stomach in knots, tears welling up in my eyes, thinking all the while, "why are we doing this?"
other parents told us it was ok, he was ok, their kids did the same thing, trying to comfort us.
but deep down, i felt sick the entire time.
after rehearsal was over, john and i talked to his helper.
she said he cried the entire performance and the entire time he was back stage.
she looked so uncomfortable and sad for him.
we looked at each other and i knew.
we were going home.
there would be no performance.
not this year anyway.
we grabbed our little reindeer, gave our apologies, and escaped out the front door.
i felt so badly for everyone, ben included, but it was not his night.
leaving, although guilt-inducing for me, was exactly what ben needed.
as we buckled him into his car seat, he instantly seemed happy and peaceful and RELIEVED.
sure, we could have stayed, forced him to go through it all again for the performance, but this was one of those decisions where as parents, we had to do what was right for ben, and not what may have been right for everyone else.
so ben's recital wasn't what we thought it was to be.
but that's ok.
we survived and thankfully, it's over.