Thursday, 13 July 2017

Why is it always considered a sign of 'weakness' to be Mister Softy? A ReadItTorial

This is a true story about something that happened recently that, even if I think about it now, will make me need to pause for a moment and wipe my eyes.

Regular blog visitors will probably have guessed by now that I'm a complete softy. I hate that word, I really do hate that word because it's the sort of nasty word used by people who have concrete hearts and seem to bowl on through life slapping people hard on the back, clamouring "Cheer up mate!" or "Put a smile on it love!"

The story begins at Charlotte's school summer concert. I was already teetering on the brink of emotional breakdown anyway. There's something about seeing your children perform in public that sort of gives you that almost painful swell of pride vs wanting to burst into tears.

But before Charlotte's section of the two hour long show had even begun (yeah, they had a lot of kids acts to get through), there came a moment that...





One little girl was scheduled to sing a song from Les Miserables - this song in fact...

The music teacher introduced the piece saying that the girl was very nervous. She was, she came onto stage very slowly, and clutching a tissue in her hand, she began to sing.

For a brief moment what came out of her mouth was the most amazing sound. Now, I know you're probably doing the eye-rolling "Sure, kids can't sing, whatever" thing, but it was the purest most beautiful little voice.

Sadly, she got about half way into the first couple of lines in the song and burst into tears.

I did too, I was sitting at the back of the audience (thankfully) tucked away, and tears gouted from my face like geysers. I very quickly mopped my eyes while the teacher gave her a huge hug and ushered her off the stage. She explained the little girl was very nervous but wanted to give it a try anyway, bless her.

No wait, it's not quite finished yet.

There was an interval after the first half of the show (which was excellent, and such a pleasant surprise to see the school doing something like that in the first place as they never have before).

We all went for a biccy and a drink, but when we came back up, before everyone had finished shuffling in and taking their seats and the usual adult kerfuffle of people chatting and moving seats etc had stopped, the girl was there - standing next to the music teacher (more accurately, hugging her for dear life) - and once again she began to sing.

By this time I'd taken my seat but others hadn't, but the instant she started singing the whole audience went so quiet you could near nothing but her beautiful pure voice. She bravely got through the whole song - and at the end sort of half cried / half laughed with relief.






I was a complete mess this time. I'm usually pretty good at supressing anything like that in public but I was sitting there dabbing frantically at my eyes while shuddering with sobs.

I think a lot of it was because I imagined how I'd feel (probably a thousand times worse) if that had been Charlotte and she'd been brave enough to carry on and have a second stab at it, having broken down so publicly on stage the first time. That took guts, and that was what broke me into bits. Just one of those wow moments.

The softy thing. This was what my wife called me when I admitted how much that had affected me. I am indeed the sort of person who can't get through "Jesse's Song" in Toy Story, or the last bit of Toy Story 3 where Andy gives away all his toys.

I sometimes have a bit of a problem watching ET

But oh man, that moment at the concert, that was almost the end of me.

Huge huge congrats to that plucky little girl for carrying on, and not just carrying on but knocking it out of the park. And congrats to my own little girl for also belting out a brilliant version of Faith by Little Mix along with her two friends.