I mentioned that over the weekend my daughter danced in 2 shows. She loves dancing but it comes with a number of challenges for her. Part of her sensory processing makeup is that she battles to filter out background noise and focus in on the key stuff. So she has to actively work on filtering out all the background information that most of us filter out naturally. It takes quite a bit of work. So as the day progresses, as she gets tired, it gets harder and harder for her to do this.
So what happens when she dances in two shows, she starts off focused and able to concentrate on the instructions. For the first show she managed the costume, hair styling (it helped that she knew and adored the teacher doing her hair and make-up) and the dress rehearsal well. Then it was straight on to the first show and immediately after that backstage to change and gear up for the second show. I was backstage so I could help with the costume change and I could see she was getting tired and when I talked she was not focusing on my words. Second dress rehearsal, lots of noise and when she went on stage to dance she did well but afterwards the teacher had a few last-minute points for the girls and at that point I could tell the background noise was overwhelming and she did not manage to get the teachers instructions (by now she was tired and she was not able to filter out all the noise and focus on the important stuff). I gave her a quick drink and a snack and tried to explain what the teacher had said but even then I could tell she was not sure. But she still had the 2nd show to do.
And then a friends gentle kindness came into play. The friend was probably not even aware of how much it meant. But this friend heard me talking to my daughter and came forward put her arm around her gave her a gentle squeeze and just said “look for me on the stage, make sure you position your chair next to mine”. Then the friend sat quietly with her, away from the crowd, for a few minutes of calm before they had to queue up.
Now this particular friend is an amazing kid (she has lots of great qualities) but what I want to highlight right now is that she is a kind, considerate, gentle kid who saw someone else was needing some encouragement and was more than happy to be there. Just a few words, a gently squeeze and a smile meant the world to my daughter and to me.
My daughter wants to dance in the shows, she loves it but it is a tough one for her. Having someone else in her group, someone who understand a little bit about how certain aspects may be harder for her, someone who was willing to reach out and help her just a little when it all got a bit much meant everything to us.
To this girls mom – You have a truly amazing daughter, one of the kindness most considerate young ladies I have had the pleasure of meeting. She is a true blessing in this sometimes crazy world.
I want to mention that my daughter has been dancing with this particular dance school for a number of years now and they are incredibly supportive of her. We would never have dreamt of her doing 2 shows if she had not had the amazing teachers supporting her the way they do.
Also the mom of the kind friend gave me permission to share this picture of the girls together.