Tonight was dance recital dress rehearsal for my little Gingerbread Man. Last night he had himself so stressed out that he didn't even start the night in his own bed, but told me that he could not sleep anywhere but in my bed. So he did. I pretty much don't argue about that. If you will sleep there, you may be there. If you push me out of the bed or wake me up for no good reason though, well all bets are off! LOL He slept well cuddled tightly against me, but today I could tell he was stressing.
I was stressing too as I had a conference meeting in the morning, a bunch of stuff after that, and had to email in my stuff for a teleconference that i couldn't do in the afternoon because I was taking 3 hours of personal time to bring him to rehearsal. My wife could have brought him, but I know he really wanted it to be me. And as dance class is my gig, where K works on Saturdays, it really made sense. So we made it work.
We got there early enough that he could be in the space without it being crowded with the dancers and parents rushing around and early enough so that the photographer who does the student pictures was not crushed with people yet. It helped him acclimate a bit and he remembered the space from last year. When we got to actually being back stage, I thought he was going to lose it. He cried a bit and was so nervous he was shaking and his teeth were chattering. The backstage crew remembered us from last year (gee why?) and gave me no guff about being back there. I just rubbed his back and gave him a light massage and he got himself composed.
And the amazing thing is that when the music came on and he went out on stage--it was like this switch got turned on inside him. He was amazing. The dance has some acting in it as well and he did it all with such enthusiasm and intensity. I was stunned. My mom--who ran a dance studio--said that "true" performers have those reactions. I don't know about that but he nailed it. Then when he came off stage he grinned and said "gee that wasn't so bad at all!"
Which does not mean that the performance days of Saturday and Sunday will not have a lot of wash, lather and repeat for his emotions but overall he got through it a lot easier than last year. And he is all ready talking about wanting to try hip hop next year!