Last Tuesday, The Boy took me to lunch with a gift card Poppy had given him to do just that. I picked him up from Grammy’s, and we went to McDonald’s. Somewhere along the way, I asked him if he was still sad about the concert.
“Hm,” he said, indicating he didn’t have a ready answer.
“Or maybe you haven’t been thinking about it too much,” I suggested.
“Yeah, I haven’t been thinking about it much,” he parroted back. “I just wish it hadn’t have happened.”
“Me too,” I said. “Those kids made a poor choice, didn’t they?”
“Yes, they did.”
I told him a little bit of the conversation I had with the principal. He asked if the band director had done anything about it. I told him the kids had had to talk to the principal and Mr. Collins about their choices. “The principal didn’t think the kids did it to be mean, though. What do you think?”
“I don’t know,” he said.
“It’s hard to tell if someone is just being mean, huh?”
“They told the principal they did it because you were playing wrong notes.”
“I wasn’t playing wrong notes!” he said, alarmed.
“Even if you were, it still wasn’t their place. You don’t touch other people’s instruments.”
“No, you don’t touch other people’s instruments,” he agreed.
I asked him to tell me if anything like that happened again, and our conversation moved on to other things. He’s sad because he can’t get that performance back. I think he knows the kids treated him differently than they would have treated a neurotypical kid. I think he’s wondering why they did it. I needed him to know the jist of what had been said at the meeting and what the kids involved had said to the principal. He has a right to know. Along with the right to play.