22 March 2013
First Performances and Managed Expectations
Benny performed in his first theatrical production on Wednesday night. He was cast as Razoul, a guard, in Aladdin. We worked on his lines for six weeks - which sometimes went great and sometimes was a nightmare. In the end, he did great and I am so proud of him. He got out there and remembered (most of) his lines. And, I think he had a lot of fun. And that's the most important point, after all.
Being a mom to Benny has been an exercise in managed expectations. I had no idea what to expect when I had a baby. It was hard. And then he turned into a toddler who was easy and fun and amazing. And shy. So, so shy. And really into mommy. For the first three to four years of his life. Social situations were hard because Benny was so uncomfortable around large (or even small) groups of people. He began warming up to these situations when he was started daycare. For him, I think daycare was one of the best things we could have done for his development. And although social situations were hard, daycare was never hard. He always dealt with change very well.
That was the "normal" and I had to manage my expectations about how he should act. And then, suddenly (or probably not so suddenly), he stopped being shy. He is still a bit wary of large groups, but for the most part, I would not describe him as a shy kid.
I've had to re-adjust my expectations. Benny has lots of friends, likes to play independently of his parents and rarely has shy moments (although they still happen). But, he's still five and a little boy. I didn't know what to expect for his first performance. Would he remember all of his lines? Would he project from the stage? Would he have stage fright? In the end, he did wonderfully and I'm so proud of him for performing. He was the youngest kid in the play, so it's no wonder he had more fun backstage while fooling around than while performing.
If Benny wants to continue performing, I will wholeheartedly support it. My heart exploded with pride when he performed and remembered his lines. To see him embrace the collective performance made this (former high school) actor immensely happy. After five years, he still surprises me on a daily basis. It's one of the reasons I love to be his mom.