Lesson 1: A Little Unexpected Privilege Goes A Long Way in Curing the "Mopes"
In honor of Ellery's upcoming 8th birthday, we took her to the mall to get her ears pierced last week. This was a huge "to do" in our family. For many years I insisted on the age of twelve. However, about 3 months ago, when things were really rough for Ellery she asked me one day when she could get them pierced. I answered "8" and she was ecstatic!
We were a couple weeks early, but last week found us up at the Children's Hospital twice. A doctor without tact, found a heart murmur while listening to Ellery's chest. She started using a lot of big, scary words in front of Ellery. The doctor unfortunately did not get any of my not-so-subtle hints to STOP TALKING LIKE THAT IN FRONT OF MY ANXIETY PRONE SEVEN-YEAR-OLD!!!
Lesson 2: Make it Painstakingly Clear to a Doctor, BEFORE they Speak to You to Keep Any Upsetting News Out of Children's Ear Shot
As if Ellery doesn't have enough on her plate, the last thing she needed was a doctor telling her, "Most likely she has some very complicated heart problems, with all of your weird family medical issues." Yes, the doctor actually used the word "weird." I immediately corrected, and assured Ellery she was not weird, our family is not weird, and her heart is just perfect. Heart murmurs are extremely common. I just knew.
The doctor was insistent we see a cardiologist right away. Thursday, we spent a good deal of time doing echocardiograms and EKG's. As I knew, Ellery's heart is just fine. She has two innocent murmurs. But it was a rough week, so to cheer up the day, we headed to the mall.
Despite her excitement, the anxiety is clearly evidenced on her sweet little face. With shaky legs she left the mall beaming ear to ear, and has been acting at least 13 since, lol!
One major concern she had was that people may not recognize her anymore, now that her ears are pierced.
Her eyes are looking a bit "smokey" from washed off mascara. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday of last week she had her end of the year performances for her musical theater class. The first "Disney Review" included all the classes from the theater. It was far from impressive. I left wondering if this was a worthwhile class. Ellery did not crack a smile the entire performance. In fact, she kept shading her eyes and wiping her brow. I think she was searching for us in the audience. She knew I was in the first row of the balcony.
Finally, she did spot us in her second number and we saw some smiles and gymnastics hands.
Lesson 3: Spotting Mom and Dad Makes All the Difference
Her performance on Friday was a different experience entirely. It was a darling 15 minute musical called "Welcome to the Jungle" based on Aesop's fable of the Lion and the Mouse. It was done by just the 8 children in her class. I was very impressed and feel sold on the value of the class. It was offered to homeschoolers on Friday afternoons from 1:30 until 3 pm. Here are a few excerpts:
Ellery still wiped her brow a few times and kept pulling up her pant legs, but she wasn't obsessed with scanning the audience for the family. It was cute.