Thursday, May 10, 2007

What was I thinking?

We just got home from Reece's last ballet class before next week's recital. I drove home in tears. I'm not sure what I was thinking keeping her in ballet class. She can do the dance just fine. But when they don't make the last pose on the last beat she cries. When she saw her sister at the corner of the stage (Riley will be on stage during Reece's dance... they are doing a ballet version of Narnia), she ran over and gave her a hug. Her teacher asked her 3 times today to stay in the classroom at the end of class and she kept running out.

This recital is going to be a nightmare. Reece has to be backstage for a minimum of 4 hours during dress rehearsal, and another 3 hours during the recital. They asked me not to be a backstage mom so that if I need to come get Reece and take her out I can. One of the moms who will be backstage really likes Reece and has experience with children on the spectrum. But if Reece runs out in a strange building, what will they be able to do? Her teacher today was trying to be so patient, but she is also concerned about the recital. The teacher told me that she talked to Reece about not running away, but ::sigh:: that just doesn't work. If we could keep her from running away by talking to her, this world would be a fine place indeed.

I regret signing her up for ballet this year. I am having second thoughts about trying to find her a gymnastics class in the fall. She doesn't want to do ballet again, and wants to try gymnastics instead. I was thinking she could probably 'blend in' well enough that I didn't need to tell anyone about her autism, but after what I saw today, that will be impossible.

I cannot wait until this recital is over... only 10 more days.


The Glasers said...


You just want the best for your children and are not willing to let obstacles block their way! There's nothing wrong with that.

Unfortunately, some kids in the spectrum are upset when things are not perfect. I have some friends and they modeled making mistakes for their kids. It may not help in only ten days, but over the long haul it might.

Also, do you or your teacher have any videos of kids making errors in recitals? I bet they still get loud applause. Maybe watching that and seeing how proud the audience is anyway might help relax her.

Please do not regret your decision. Every time I hear the song about laying the crown at the feet of Jesus, I have a wonderful image of the video you posted of Reece dancing to that song! It is such a blessing!

Niffercoo said...

Tammy, thank you so much! I have to admit it's especially hard to see her upset with her mistakes, because Austin is an incredible perfectionist to the point of crawling under his desk when he misses one or two things on a page. I really have tried to be different with Reece, and it's discouraging to see that, despite all my efforts, she is starting to focus on mistakes rather than successes!

I have some books on hold from the library about recitals so I hope that I'll be able to read to her about the recital and we'll talk about it. Her teacher stopped me tonight at Riley's rehearsal, and told me to bring Reece early so she can show her around the recital location and hopefully ease her mind and curiosity.

I hate to even say this, but that was Riley in that dance! Reece is smaller than her, but they are easily confused because they are little carbon copies of each other! :)

Thank you again for the encouragement! I need it so much! Yesterday was the last day of preschool we well, and I'm just getting so scared that I'm going to mess everything up.