I want to say thank you to all the supportive and helpful comments on that post, it really helped Annie make it through the lead up the day itself without falling apart.
On the morning of the concert we went into the city early and enjoyed a hot chocolate together before meeting up with her school mates for rehearsals just after 11am. We were able to explore the theatre while it was still mostly empty and help Annie adjust to the space.
The children went into the theatre for rehearsals at 11.30am and parents were not allowed in till 1pm when the performance was to start. Annie went with her school mates happily enough and I enjoyed a cup of coffee and chat with the other parents.
1pm came around quickly and in to the theatre we went, it was standing room only with all the seats filled and people squeezing into any spot they could find. Annie was standing up near the back and came running over to me asking for some lunch and a drink as she was hungry. I had packed snacks in case thank goodness.
There was a bit of talking, a group sing-a-long to warm up the audience and then it was time for Annie’s school to perform 3 marimba songs, which they did very well, if I do say so.
After their performance there was more things happening down on the stage whilst Annie’s group lined up to go down on stage. I gave her a hug and watched her on the way down to the stage for the massed choir performance.
So far so good I thought and headed outside for a little break from the music and to purchase a drink, not having eaten lunch yet I needed something to keep me going.
I headed back in to see Annie sitting with her group, hands over her ears, rocking backwards and forwards, tears streaming down her face.
And my heart broke.
I felt such guilt for taking a break when she had been in there with the noise for hours.
I waved to her, figured out how to get past all the people and made my way down the stairs to stand at the edge of the stage opposite where she was sitting. I was in the way of the tech people but at that point I didn’t care.
Using basic hand signals I indicated she could come over to me, she shook her head. My brave brave girl was going to see it through, even though it was so very hard.
Her friends gave her hugs, I made my way back to the top of the theatre and positioned myself so she could see me. The massed choir stood to sing once more and Annie stood with them, she rocked and covered her ears but stopped crying as she sang. After the song finished Annie slid down to sit next to her teacher who hugged her and said it was okay.
My Annie, my hero, you couldn’t see her cape, but it was firmly pinned on her shoulders. My super girl, with her super hearing and her super sensitive soul and her super determination, she made it all the way to the end, she did it.
The show finished around 2.30pm, such a long time, we went outside in the quiet, we watched the Yarra river flow by and slowly my girl unfurled, she had been seated next to speakers, the drummers cymbals reverberated in her throat and she could hear the noise under her skin. But she stayed, she was so proud to have done it, not sure if she will go again, but Annie can say she sang on stage at the Edge Theatre in Federation Square.
My aspie superhero her cape is invisible but it is there.
This Autism Positivity Flash Blog Event is the brainchild of Thinking About Perspectives, a group of bloggers committed to increasing autism awareness and acceptance via open and respectful dialogue. They are: 30 Days of Autism, Outrunning the Storm, The Third Glance, Aspie Kid,Flappiness Is, Quirky and Laughing, Life on the Spectrum, Fairy Tale Forgotten, The Aspie Side of Life, and Inner Aspie.