A child on the school stage plays a wrong note. Ha, triumph; this will teach you to steal my child’s limelight. A second bad note, oh my God, that poor child! How can I be such a monster? She’s my child’s friend!
But I feel that my kids need to be seen. They need their talent to be seen & nurtured quickly if they are ever going to have a chance. The real world progressively triggers more & more anxiety & autistic symptoms, time is against them. I feel if my kids don’t peak quickly they will be trapped forever in the same vortex of self-doubt & lack of motivation that the two oldest seem to be mired in. The quagmire that my incredibly talented husband can’t get out of & that I’m using every iota of my strength to claw my way a little out of & mainly not to get sucked back. I don’t share these thoughts with my children, what do I want to do throw them in to the vortex I hate. Some parts of me think that this maybe a touch irrational & overprotective. But frankly the evidence so far supports my worst fears.
Meanwhile I am still a visible audience member so I rub my face with my hand surreptitiously making sure my face is making the reassuring ‘I love this entertainment’ look I always try to use whenever I am in an audience. I spent a lot of time practising appropriate facial expressions at home & then checking how the position feels on my fingers so I can reproduce them in public. With the exception of small children I can’t hear well, I don’t use my expressions deceptively. I invested a lot of time in my teens studying facial expression & body language in an attempt to understand & keep up with my peers. When I’m enjoying myself I generally look bland, bored or maybe sleepy, if I’m in an audience I look irritable & in pain, if I’m outside my house I look irritable & in pain. So if I’m in the company of non-Autistic people I adjust my face to reflect my feelings or sometimes the feelings I feel that aren’t due to my being crazy. I think my face should reflect my enjoyment at the entertainment in a way that can be understood by normal people.
Surprisingly I have never met anyone including my lazy kids who will study this technique, it’s annoying.
Back to kids’ concerts; I love performances by children. At best they can be fantastic, like real entertainment but unexpected; at worst it can still be adorable watching their little mistakes and marveling at their recoveries. There are 2 things that annoy me and ruin a show; bad sound & precociousness. I find sitting through a performance I can’t hear irritates me so much it causes me pain and anxiety, there is something in the mixture of straining & not knowing what is happening around me that sets me completely on edge. I also hate precociousness in children’s’ performances like the kids (characters) on “Full House”. I feel really strongly about good parenting, part of that is discipline & respect I don’t like performances that seem to flout respect for authority. But I don’t blame the performers for this; either it arises from a lack of discipline from their parents or scripting/directing, neither of which would be the fault of the child. And neither is the sound system so in both these cases I try to keep my entertained expression in place if I can be seen by the performers. Yes I do have all these insane convoluted thoughts on a regular basis. Yes I do know I sound crazy. I am completely comfortable being crazy but I will not ever willingly risk ruining even slightly someone else’s mood because of my craziness.