That One, Front Row, Middle, is Mine

The other evening, Stacy and I had the pleasure of attending his daughter’s school music program. If you’ve ever also had the pleasure of going to an elementary school music program, you understand that I’m using the term “pleasure,” flexibly.

Yes, most children are cute. Yes, the annual music program is a rite of passage — I mean, I did them (my second grade music program theme was “Cabbage Patch Kids,” during which we each wore a large, paper cabbage that had a cut out for our faces… I even remember some of the words to one of the songs), which means my mom had the pleasure of watching me and my classmates.

When you have a child who’s neuroatypical, just about everything in life is an adventure — and a full-contact endurance sport. Everyone has idiosyncrasies, and many of us have had ours since we were little. But some of us are Extra. And then there’s LaLa, who’s More Extra. You just never know what she’s going to do, because, frankly, she doesn’t know what she’s going to do.

It was not our night with the kids, so Stacy and I made our way to the auditorium and found a place to sit. Some children were already in their places on the metal risers. As we sat, others made their way to the stage. And then LaLa clambered up the steps to the stage, and took her place: front row, middle.

“Front row, middle,” my friend asked me later, in a text message — I could see her one eyebrow, raised, in my mind’s eye. “That’s the place where viral videos happen!”

Don’t. I. Know. It.

While there were some interesting moments provided both by LaLa and several other children (the wonderful, amazingly affirming thing that happens when you see your child among a crowd of peers is that you have a relative gauge), no viral video moments occurred during this particular program.

That lack of viral-video behavior allowed my usual, generalized facepalm mindset to give way to a different feeling, joy. Actual joy, not “joy,” and not joy, flexibly defined. I enjoyed watching our child’s performance, the culmination of her work in music class this school year.

LaLa has grown and matured so much over the past three years. And, like the rest of us, though she still has a long way to go, it’s important that we realize and recognize that growth.

Have you been (or could you have been) the star of a viral video?

If you have children in your life, is there a particularly memorable facepalm moment from their past?

I would love the read your stories!

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