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My first preschool music gig was at my son’s school Miss Sandies when he was 4 years old. I was so excited to be able to sing some fun songs with my son’s classmates, and especially with my son! That day we had music time outside since it was a beautiful spring morning. Out comes my son’s class all excited and they situate themselves on the picnic tables. We began with a good ol’ round of ABC’s and their sweet voices filled the air. Pure joy was written all over their faces as they bounced up and down to the rhythm. There was little Logan singing merrily, Danielle bouncing wildly up and down, singing, my son’s best friend Tommy grinning ear to ear, singing, and then there was….my son. His head in his hands, face all scrunched up, elbows on knees, hunched over, looking painfully bored!

What’s with that? It was a little alarming at first. He did participate with the songs, but his vim and vigor was never quite as robust as the other kids. When asked if he liked mommy singing, he always said yes, but his enthusiasm always seemed a bit lack luster. I never pushed it with him and he seemed okay, mostly. I had theories that maybe he didn’t like all the other kids so enthusiastic with his mommy, or maybe the songs weren’t his favorites. What made the most sense was something that one of the fathers shared with me one day. He had said that when he was my son’s age his mom sang at their school and for some reason it was always a little uncomfortable for him. He couldn’t quite explain why but it made him feel like his mom was an alien. That was the only way he could describe it. Well this made the most sense to me. It could be similar to that emotional confusion kids feel when they see a teacher out of the school and in the grocery store. It sort of sends them into shock like “how can you possibly exist outside of school?!” So that’s how I took it, he thought I was an alien. And now that my son is 14, I am definitely an alien, whether I sing or not.

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1. Katie Perera

United States

2. Trishawna Robinson

Scarborough, Canada

3. Leah Schulz

Fresno, CA, United States

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