My anxious child excels at his violin concert

I’ve written before about Jase and how anxious he gets over different events. He is our rule-following boy and always seems concerned with doing what he is supposed to do. He will have panic attacks if he forgets to do a homework assignment. If he is to bring in something to class, you can bet that he double and triple checks that he has it.

When it has been a day where kids can wear PJs or have crazy hair, he is nervous to participate, worrying that he will be the only one. He will be so nervous until he sees that others are dressed in their PJs or have spiked green hair. (Actually this semester he has gotten better about this.)

So you would think that he would be nervous about performing in front of a group. All eyes are on you now, watching, judging. But nope, this never phases Jase.

Recently, his fifth-grade strings group performed as part of a citywide concert. I expected Jase to be nervous. A friend told me his daughter refused to get out of the car the previous year. I imagined Jase doing the same thing. But he didn’t.

I do think he was nervous. It was just that it didn’t seem to control him. He didn’t have trouble sleeping the night before or eating as we drove to the event. Now because I know how anxious he can get, I do what I normally do. I tried prepping him for what would happen. I showed him pictures of the event from the previous day. (It was a four-night celebration, and he was performing on day 2.)

I think the photos helped. It showed him that he would be in the stands versus on the floor of the gymnasium. No nerves showed up as I dropped him off. Heck, he probably would have been more concerned about being late than actually being there.

My husband and I ended up sitting two rows away from him at the performance. He appeared calm and collected as he waited for his turn to rehearse and then later perform.

So here is the boy who will be panicking because he has to do a science lab experiment with worms or the fact that he didn’t finish reading his required Blue Bonnet book, and now he is behaving as if this is nothing to be concerned about.

Of course, I probably shouldn’t be too surprised. The fact is even though he panics over many small things and worries about dozens of everyday events, he has done this before.

He has tried out for the school play, gotten a part in the talent show and often participates in front of his class. Yes, he was nervous about the audition but not to the extent that missing a homework assignment caused. Yes, he had butterflies about performing in front of the whole school and sped through his routine. But he did it without a panic.

It just baffles me at what he gets worked up about and which things he takes in stride. My husband worries about his anxiety but you know what, he has survived all that and keeps on going. I think he will do fine just as he did at his concert.