Tech rehearsal included all of 6th, 7th and 8th grade chorus, so in other words, a lot of kids. I heard Ryan before I saw him. "Move it, move it! Keep moving! Out of the way!", he bellowed while parting the teeny bopping crowd like Moses. However, Ryan's scowl and his tone of voice was definitely more Grinch, less Moses. Unless of course Moses was a Grinch too.
I stood on the sidewalk, feeling something in between horrified and humored. I mean, while meandering through Target three days before Christmas with the other last minute shoppers who are also looking at what's left of the stocking stuffers, don't you also want to shout, "Move it! Keep Moving! Out of the Way!"? Sometime I envy Ryan's AWEnesty. When Ryan finally reached me, backpack flung haphazardly over his shoulder, hair completely disheveled, he smiled and said hello. I asked what all the "Move it!" was about and he innocently looked at me and told me that there were too many people, it was much too crowded and that he was getting "smushed". I explained that "excuse me please" in a not so bossy voice may get people to respond better to him and he just grunted at me as he turned towards the van and grinchily yelled, "Let's go!".
Some days I laugh about Ryan's Grinch-like demeanor and other days I worry he will end up alone on the top of Mt. Crumpit. After all, living like the Grinch, alone in a cave, would greatly reduce the possibility of getting smushed or bumped and Ryan wouldn't have to worry about all the "NOISE, NOISE, NOISE" from the Jing Tinglers and Electro Who Cardio Shnux and he wouldn't have to worry about feeling different and being accepted for all his kind, quirky, and occasional Grinch like behavior.
At some point in time, all of the Cindy Lou Whos in Ryan's life, have witnessed or been the direct target of Ryan's Grinchy behavior. These Cindy Lou Whos could have gone running back down the side of Mt. Crumpit to the familiarity of Who-ville, but, rather than judge my little Grinch or condemn him, the Cindy Lou Whos of Ryan's life, have stayed with him three thousand feet at the top of Mt. Crumpit. These Cindy Lou Whos have helped Ryan discover that being different is really not something to hide from, but, something to embrace and they have helped Ryan understand that the Whos, the tall and the small, are really not so different from him after all.
Even at his Grinchiest of times, when Ryan is using his bossy voice then hiding away in his bedroom just north of Who-ville, I don't think Ryan wants to always be alone. Sure, he loves hiding away in his Grinchy lair, and having all the Whos he lives with leave him alone while he single-handedly kills Minecraft spiders, zombies and creepers, but, I don't believe that Ryan wants to spend all his time living alone on the top of Mt. Crumpit. I believe Ryan, like the Grinch, wants to be accepted and loved for all his differences and occasionally join the other Whos for a "FEAST! FEAST! FEAST! FEAST!".
As a mother loving and parenting a child who may be seen as "different" to many Whos, I am grateful to the Cindy Lou Whos of my world that love and accept Ryan even on his Grinchiest of days. It is the Cindy Lou Whos who have enabled not only my boy's heart to grow "three sizes that day", but, for him to have grown into the proud, happy and confident young man he has become.
As I sat at Ryan's chorus concert on Tuesday night literally watching him "SING, SING, SING, SING" with all the other Whos, I couldn't have been more proud to see him standing in the middle, not at the ends, knowing full well that he could get bumped, nudged or smushed, at any time (and secretly praying he wouldn't) and unleash a little Grinch on the innocent bumping Who. Fortunately, there was no "smushing" there was just beautiful singing and clapping from a boy who once hated all the "NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!". It was gift way better than any Electro Who Cardio Shnux.
There will always be days when things don't go Ryan's way, or days where the world gets to be too much and the Grinch will poke his head out of his cave, just north of Who-ville, but, I believe that like the Grinch, Ryan will continue to adapt to the Whos and their boring, typical ways, and thanks to the Cindy Lou Whos of his world, who accept Ryan for being just who he is, Ryan will not be isolated or alone three thousand feet up the top of Mt. Crumpit.
It may be a stretch to say that one day Ryan will "FEAST! FEAST! FEAST! FEAST!" on rare Who-roast beast since he is a self-proclaimed vegetarian, but, with the support and love of the Cindy Lou Whos, Ryan may join the other Whos for a little Who-pudding....as long as it's vanilla....and as long as it says "Jello" on the container...and as long as it's served with a white, plastic spoon.
Here are some pics of a few of Ryan's Cindy (yes, there are plenty of dudes who are Cindys too) Lou Whos. There are many more, and their lack of presence in this slideshow is not due to their lack of love, understanding and acceptance, it's just due to my lack of photo taking and Ryan's Grinch like disgust in having his photo taken.