25 May 2011

Singing, Dancing, Worrying

The end of the school year is fast-paced and often overwhelming. Each week is full of some end-of-year event that I must attend. Last week, Five sang in the First Grade concert, and this Friday, Four will perform at his school.

Four's concerts are always fun, because the music teachers form a house band, and the kids sing contemporary songs.  Many of the students in his school are classified with autism spectrum disorder, so it's very uplifting to see them on the stage, singing and dancing. I always cry.

Four has a lovely singing voice, with good pitch, and a nice tone. He also can hear a song once, and know most of the words. It's the same skill set that allows him to watch a television show, and then repeat the dialogue ad nauseum. The other day, I was listening to Adele in the car, and after hearing the chorus the first time ("Rumour has it/ Rumour/ Rumour has it") he sang along for the rest.

He's musically inclined, but learning an instrument is a challenge. He's been taking piano lessons at school, but it's nearly impossible to get him to practice at home. That would require sitting, and he prefers to move. Lying on the couch to play Nintendo DS would be the exception. Yesterday, he wanted to stand to do his homework at the kitchen table, and I was fine with that. Whatever gets it done.

I worry about the future, for all my children, but especially my boys with special needs. They each have unique skills that don't necessarily translate to career descriptions. One has a brain like a sponge. If you need to know, right this very minute, how many tons an African elephant weighs, One can tell you. Or, if you are unsure what countries comprised the Triple Entente in World War One, he knows that, too. And you can ask him anything about animals, especially wolves and birds of prey. Four has instant auditory recall, fantastic reading comprehension, and acting and singing ability.

So, I'm thinking research assistant, and voice-over artist? I need help figuring it out. Actually, there is help available, but I need to make the time to fill out forms and go on appointments. And that seems to be the biggest challenge for me, because my life is fast-paced and often overwhelming--every day of the year.


  1. I think those are excellent options! One would LOVE to research all day long and get paid :) And he's very thorough and patient [at least with research].

    Voice over would be great for Four-- he can stand and move, and he would have no difficulty remembering his lines-- even though he would have access to them since he's not filming.

    I will keep thinking. Feel free to come up with careers for mine :)

  2. Oh, the duets Four and Sweet Girl could do! We had an end-of-year party at pre-school and all the kids got something superlative-esque, like Best Athlete. Sweet Girl's: Next American Idol. She and Four share many challenges and strengths (she loves Katy Perry but it's disconcerting to hear my three year-old sing about daisy dukes).

    Professional trivia player for One? I bet he could make a killing on some game shows too. And Four can create music software and video games. If I were to give Sweet Girl a job based upon her current skill set, she'd be a Perpetual Motion Machine or a Pre-Literacy Consultant specializing in Musical Adaptations. In other words, she knows about a zillion different ways to sing the ABCs. All of them beautiful of course. :)

  3. @Sarah: I had a similar "music awareness" moment about two years ago. I was playing Foo Fighters in the car (probably a little loud, but they require it), and I heard Five singing/screaming "Why'd you have to go and let it die/Why'd you have to go and let it die?" After that, I was a little more selective about what tracks I played.

  4. Anonymous26.5.11

    I worried so much about where my Special Number Three was going to find her niche, she's an Empath and only seemed able to relate to animals. It was a waste of time and energy, she found the perfect spot, all on her own. They do that later on, I promise. It won't stop the worry, nothing ever does, but I can assure you that the loving and very sound foundation you are building now will hold them up, and keep them strong.


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