Sunday, June 08, 2014

Zack...You Raise Me Up

It's been an emotional few weeks.  The wedding of my oldest stepson, Ryan (blog to follow when I have photos), two illnesses, an endoscopy Thursday that didn't quite give the results we'd hoped for (so more tests), and Friday, watching Zack perform as a Madrigal singer at his school's graduation.


This school is amazing.  Each grade puts on a play, has at least one poem or song during the year for Wednesday Assemblies, a massive on stage Halloween exhibition....basically, they are teaching children from the very beginning to learn to feel comfortable in front of an audience.


I'm really good at extemporaneous speaking (but my singing hurts ears three towns over). Zack , however, hates to be in front of a crowd.  For a couple of years, we skipped the Halloween March, and he finally got the nerve in 3rd grade to speak three lines as the most adorable Benjamin Franklin you've ever seen.  Then it all went wrong in 4th grade and he refused to do anything public.




He performed in the Thanksgiving play this year, though, as Snoopy (pictures later this week), and I was shocked and astounded when he told me he volunteered to be one of the Madrigal singers at Graduation this year.  He wouldn't even GO to the Awards Ceremony or Graduation in  past years because he didn't want people to see him.  We'd always skip it and go shopping and do mommy/kidlet stuff.


I didn't know what he was going to sing....he practiced at school and I didn't want to jinx him by asking too many questions.  So when I sat down with the program and saw first, how small the Madrigal group was, and two, that they'd be singing Josh Grobin's "You Raise Me Up", I knew I was in trouble.  I cry every time I hear that song.


I'm resting up for surgery Monday, so don't have time to edit the Madrigals (shaking hands, mommy audibly sniffling as she cried), but I promise to post it soon.  He was one of only two boys in the small group, and he's gotten cards, hugs, and high fives from both teachers and kids who were shocked at the change in Zack this year.  Having Aspergers Syndrome and panic attacks makes life harder for him, but the triumphs are that much more rewarding.  I couldn't be prouder.


First day of school....where did the time go?


So until I can edit his actual performance, I'll leave you to (please) watch Josh Grobin's video.  I dare you not to get choked up.


More on Zack's phenomenal year as well as the wedding when I'm able.  Until then, watch, listen, and applaud Zack for overcoming the odds to shine and make this his best year ever.









19 comments:

  1. Yay for Zach! My daughter has had significant anxiety issues also (she's now 13), but I think surrounding kids with love, as you and your husband do, is the way they grow through them. Emma has also always been in a small school that supports the kids and helps them become comfortable in front of others (especially performing). One more year at this school, and she's off to high school --and she has chosen to attend the local public high school. I never thought she'd have that level of confidence :-)

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  2. Dear Lori, I hope your prepared for Zack to astonish and astound you for the rest of your life!
    My nephew was diagnosed Aspergers 16years ago and is now 22yo studying a Bachelor of Law and Justice. He seems to thrive in university and has found that many of his lecturers appreciate his wicked sense of humour.
    I remember when he did something so completely out of his comfort zone (joined the debate team in high school) it seemed to unlock a new sense of confidence.

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  3. Awesome..

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  4. It is a lovely song, with lots of different meanings for different folks (the best kind). My (now adult) son, who also has Aspergers, was very musically talented, but found singing too emotionally challenging. When he was in Grade 7, he joined the school band, which became a refuge for him in a difficult part of his childhood.

    I bet Zack is gaining lots of confidence from his musical and artistic endeavors, Lori. Looking forward to seeing his performance. Blessings to you all :)

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  5. Way to go Zach! Keep raising your mom up! Thanks for sharing.

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  6. My son also has Aspergers. (Did you know they aren't using that term anymore? All kids are called 'on the autism spectrum' or ASD autism spectrum disorder.) he refused to comment at church until he sat with someone else and he finally did it today! I'm so proud. Congrats for your son!

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  7. Congratulations to both of you! It's great to hear of Zach's progress. Can't wait to see the pictures.

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  8. Wow, that is quite the accomplishment for your son! Well done Zack! I look forward to see the video!

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  9. WOW! Your writing and the song is both magical! :) Good luck!

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  10. Go Zach! I will look forward to seeing the video and the wedding photos - both of which will likely make me cry! I don't even know your son, and I'm proud of him for singing in front of a crowd. That takes courage & confidence. He is so lucky to have parents who encourage him and lift him up. He's a talented kid and a lucky kid too. Good luck on Monday. You'll be in my thoughts.

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  11. Zach! Congratulations on doing such a good job. Your mom is so proud of you. Take care of her. She will be your best friend for life. Hugs to you both. Lori, get well soon.

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  12. Congratulations Zach! It's a beautiful song and I can hardly wait to hear your rendition of it.

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  13. Aww, congratulations to you all! What an accomplishment for Zack! I know, first hand, how amazing it is when a child finds his/her way out of the shell. Bravo Zack, I look forward to seeing your performance!

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  14. It's difficult to truly express how hard we've all worked...Zack, me, Rick, his brothers, his school...to get him to the place where he's proud of this "label". Some days it gets the best of him. But this year, he has really found himself. He's not afraid to tell anyone about why he happened to have what looks like a temper tantrum, but is really a loss of control of brain/body/propriosensory issues.


    I know there will be hard years to come as he hits puberty and in not too long, high school, but now *I* am the only one who cries (in private) about that.

    Zack is on his way.

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  15. Zack, you rock! Can't wait to see the vid.

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  16. Zack, you rock! Can't wait to see the vid.

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  17. I am so proud of him!

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  18. He is everything to me, no matter if he sits in the audience or stars on stage. He's my boy, and I'm lucky to know and love him.

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