Remember when you were young? Remember the days that the clock just wouldn’t move? Remember the dates on the calendar that just would be crossed off with that bold X in Sharpie? Ok, I may still cross out a date with a Sharpie. I digress.
Regardless, imagine being this all over the place day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute? If it makes your heart rate jump at a rapid rate, imagine the mind of 10 year old Sawyer Rubin pacing back and forth waiting for his recital.
Dance has become Sawyer’s purpose. His passion. His community. His life. His success. However, it’s also a place that can open potential panic from Pandora’s Box.
As we got in the Jeep that morning, I knew that Sawyer was uneasy. Pulling out of the driveway brought upon 400 feet of rapid fire.
“Daddy, are we late?” “Do I have everything?” “We’re going to be late.” “Oh no, this is a problem.” “I can’t find my shirt.” “Is my shirt there?”
This dialogue carried on for 22 minutes. Otherwise entire duration of the drive. As the rain fell down around us, I felt myself hitting the pavement with each drop.
We have come accustomed to deescalating, Sawyer, but not myself on my own before an event that like this. I was really nervous that he wouldn’t make it to the stage.
We get inside the recital location. Sawyer is still breathing loud and then he just lost it. His scarf fell, his hat’s pom pom came off as he wouldn’t stop playing with it and the knockout blow was his white tee shirt was nowhere to be found.
His tears came out and comforting him was not happening. I even called my wife, Kellie to come but shortly after I told her that I wanted to try one more thing. So she turned around.
I looked him in the eye, gave him a giant squeeze, and asked him flat out, “can you do this today?” He said yes. I said, “can you let me and those here help you?” He said, yes again.
He wiped away his tears, took 3 deep breaths, sat patiently, rehearsed, and that afternoon he hit the stage. The snow globe that was shaken found a way to sit still. Unfazed and unflappable. He got on the stage 2 times that afternoon in tap and ballet. He found a way. Like he always does, he stood up and delivered.