Saturday, November 12, 2011

Amira's First of Many Experiences

A week ago, Friday, Amira’s school had their annual Harvest Festival, which consist of food, crafts, community gathering and this year a talent show.

About a month prior to the Harvest Festival, Amira came home from school and announced that she wanted to sign up with one of her classmates for the talent show. Internally I was shocked because of her severe shyness, but externally I showered her with encouragement and support. She shared they were going to do a scene from Alice In Wonderland Jr., the musical. All new to me, but was excited for her nonetheless for her adventurous nature. She practiced everyday when she had free time.

A week prior to the Harvest Festival she even took her backpack to school with a few dresses and shoes to show her friend so they could decide what they were going to wear for their play.

The day of the Harvest Festival, Amira packed her backpack with all her wears and went off to school. At 4:30 that evening my dad and I arrived to greet Amira and assist with any last minute preparations for the big show. We also ran into her little friend that was equally as excited, nervous and ready to go.

Beings this was the school’s first year at having a talent show at the Harvest Festival, it was a bit unorganized leaving families uncertain as to where, when and what time the show was suppose to take place.

Like sheep we followed a flock to a classroom where we all gathered for the big event. You could clearly tell Amira was nervous but wanted to play it ‘cool’ around the other kids. The program directory was passed out and the talent show attendees where asked to sit up front. Amira’s little friend was still not in the room when the talent show began, which added greatly to Amira’s nervousness.

Amira’s name was finally called to step up, to which she did, but to tell the director that her friend was not here yet. Ugh! She returned to her seat and anxiously awaited her friend’s arrival.

A few acts later and her friend finally arrives. Amira runs back up to the director of the program and advises her that her friend has arrived, so they let the two of them go to center stage with a microphone in Amira’s hand. The room is silent and still. The two girls look out at the crowd, then look at one another. Amira’s eyes begin to wail up and she puts her hand around her throat. Her friend’s eyes are like a deer looking in headlights – wide as can be. They just stand there. Finally the director whispers to them, “it’s ok, you can sit down”. The two girls walk off the staging area. Everyone claps.

We make it through the remainder of the talent show, then Amira comes up to me barely holding back from crying and I grab her hand. She doesn’t not want much comforting as she’s seconds away from losing it and doesn’t want to do it in front of everyone.

We make our way to the car. Once inside we both start bawling like babies. I feel so horrible for how she’s feeling. She’s embarrassed and can’t stop crying. She wants to just go home. We held hands all the way home, and talked about the show. I shared with her how proud of her I was, and how proud others were of her for taking such a big step, as they know how shy she is. She tells me that when she looked out at the audience she was surprised how many people were there, and that Patrick’s advice (from Spongebob) of visualizing people in their underwear did not help AT ALL. I shared with her my experience of having to say or do something in front of people and how it made me feel. Hearing this seemed to help calm her nerves.

When we got home I asked if she wanted to share some hot tea together and she said that she did. As I was preparing the tea she decided to get this book she gave me last year which was a book of Maxine quotes (see below the first page of the book she turned too).

When I brought her a cup of tea, I found her crying again. I asked what happened and she said she got the “Maxine” book out as she thought it would cheer her up, but instead she said, “I opened the very first page and this is what I saw”.

Maxine can be so cold sometimes. LOL

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Had an amazing weekend, last weekend. Conducted my first fundraising event. With the assistance of a friend of mine, we conducted a breast cancer awareness fundraiser. We've since changed the name to breast health awareness since we don't want our focus to be on cancer awareness, but rather on health awareness.

We conducted a massage marathon. Two days of massaging with proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen foundation for research.

Was a little nervous at first as there's a lot to consider and prepare for in pulling off such an event, but thankfully everything fell into place seemingly effortlessly.

Feeling so blessed and thankful for such an experience, the next plan is to do another fundraiser in the spring but on a bigger scale. Still considering the cause to support, but have it narrowed down to either something for children, diabetics, or abused women.