Friday, December 16, 2011

The Mice Before Christmas

Today, Andy and I got to watch the Kindergarten Christmas program at school. Ellie has been talking about it for weeks and singing the songs. It was an exciting day!

Ellie coming in with her class. She was a Reindeer, and had a line in the play, which she had memorized right away. She did a great job saying the words clearly into the microphone. It was a proud moment as a parent.

Nina was a mouse, and she did not have any lines. She did a great job getting herself in the chair all on her own, and her teacher helped her at the end get on the stage for the bow.

After the play, parents went to the classrooms and worked on a little project.

Ellie did fantastic, we were so proud of her at the play performance. In her classroom, seeing her interact with her friends is so much fun. She is friendly, she is kind, and she is so encouraging to her friends.

Nina, on the other hand...see that picture above? She is not smiling, just kind off...sitting. She almost seemed to be in a "trance." Kind of singing, but mostly sitting. Kind of doing the hand actions, but mostly sitting. At some point she was holding her friend's hand instead of following along. We are aware of how she "comes across" and that is hard. Mainly, because we know that what other parents saw today is not who Nina is. Her teachers know that is not who Nina is. Still, this morning she was just...awkward, and I know the awkwardness does not come from her Cerebral Palsy, but rather from her years spent at the orphanage. 

Most of the time, I do not notice that my girls are "different." I am used to it, it is normal to me. But then something like the school play comes along and you see just how different your child appears to be compared to the other children. And you know that the way they appear is what creates perceptions. It is not the same to see a typical child up in stage be extremely shy, it is an entire different thing to see a child with an obvious disability and medical equipment do the same. No, what people perceive is not accurate, but still, as a parent of a child with special needs, it can be discouraging.

In her classroom, she was fine; she is comfortable, she can be herself. That was so good to see. She was ready for pictures and smiles and talking to her friends. And the kids in her classroom like her, they really do. I am sure that any parents that saw her in the class realized she was just being very shy, that the sky is her limit, and that she is full of potential. And if they only knew where she came from, if ALL those parents knew what her past was like...they would be impressed. And you know what, they might have realized that her performance might have been the best one of them all...

...and Ellie's too of course!


  1. We have had this same discussion to the point that we now prep Claudia before she sings in her choir. That and we try to make eye contact with her during performances to help her stay alert.

  2. Love that you share your heart and bits of your world here.

  3. Anonymous8:03 PM

    I have seen this same thing with my Josh and with Caleb. They have huge personalities, and then it's like they fold up their tent and they're gone. In Caleb's case, I think the multiple placements he went through make him afraid that when he is "on display" he is being shopped by new parents. He wants to go home. So we didn't put him in the Christmas program this year. Maybe next year he'll be ready.


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