Next came the scene with a smaller bunch of pirates, singing a song I'd heard him practice over and over.* But no N.
Baroy and I caught one another's eyes. Baroy was up closer to the stage with the camera; I was videoing from the back.
He's not there. He didn't go on. Oh, no. No. No. Oh, my poor boy.
He's been so excited to participate in this play, to dress up in his pirate costume and put on his eyepatch and brandish his sword. He's even used the word brandish. He's been studying up on piracy, is what I'm saying.
And now this.
I continued to video the play because he'd insisted he'd want to be able to see it later on; he also wanted to show Em, who couldn't miss school this morning to attend. But I saw Baroy sink to the floor and put his head in his hands, and I couldn't see through the tears in my eyes.
But then. Then. A few scenes later, the pirates came tromping out one by one, and I saw blue-striped blur. N! It's N!
Baroy caught it at the same time, and started snapping pictures.
He wasn't loud, and his gestures weren't as big as they should have been. But he was singing, and he was doing the choreography. He was there. On the stage. Participating.
Now I really couldn't see through the tears.
I noticed, nearby, that N's occupational therapist, H, had come into the auditorium. (She was looking for one of the other students she works with.) She saw me and came over.
"That's N!" she breathed. "On stage!"
"Yup," I said.
"That's huge," she said, clearly awed.
And there he was, in all the scenes. Usually way in the back, or half hidden behind the stage-left curtain at the end of a row.** But he was there. Singing. And dancing.
And being one kick-ass pirate.
(Far right. Blue shirt with red sash. Pirates!)
*Turns out it wasn't one of his songs. He just liked it, so sang it a lot at home.
**No blame on the teachers for this; I'd have done the same. He was a definite not-going-on risk, and the last thing you want is a big hole front and center in your play.