Last week, the third graders sang at the Mall. They were SO cute. They did a really good job. The teachers really prepared them well, and the children were very well-behaved. During the performance, between songs, Mrs. K pointed to one of the boys and mouthed, "Are you OK?" He just stood there, staring blankly. He was quite pale. Mrs. S, a mom helper, and her husband, an EMT, quietly swooped in and helped the little pale man down from the risers. He was OK, just a little shaky--maybe he had his knees locked, or maybe he was just nervous...
But the show must go on, and the children continued their program. After the little pale man incident, it occurred to me that I should keep a close eye on Isaac. You just never know in these situations!
So he sang along, just as he had been instructed to do. Even though he HATES performing in public, or anywhere, for that matter, he cares a lot about doing what he is supposed to be doing so he doesn't get in trouble. I noticed him wiggling his legs so his knees wouldn't lock, and I noticed that he didn't put his hands in his pockets, even though I knew he wanted to!
During the second to last song, I noticed that he kept looking at his hands. He'd bring his hands up in front of him and study his fingers, then he'd look back up and continue singing. He did this several times, and my Mom Radar was wondering, "What is he doing?!" After one of these hand-studying episodes, he looked back up, but his eyes moved really slowly, and he had stopped singing. At that moment, I thought to myself, "Does he look pale? Yes, I think he does look pale!" He just stood there, staring blankly, while I got from somewhere in the middle of the second row to his side in zero seconds flat. My sincere apologies to all the people I'm sure I stepped on or clobbered with my purse...
I grabbed his arm just as his knees buckled, but he was GONE. I couldn't keep him from falling, but I slowed him down. Mr. and Mrs. S were there almost as fast as I was, and Mr. S caught him from behind before he toppled the kids off the riser behind him. Mr. S picked Isaac up and carried him off to the side. I tried to take Isaac from his arms, but I'm not strong, and I had a purse and a camera in the way. So I just sat down on the floor and Mr. S put Isaac on my lap. Mrs. S took Isaac's Santa hat and cute woolen scarf off him, and I pulled his shirt up so he could get some cool air on his skin. I blew on his forehead and pushed his fuzzy hair back, and I noticed that he was really clammy. Poor baby! I scooted him off my lap and let him lay on the cold tile of the mall floor.
His eyes had started fluttering open, and I said, "I'm right here, babe. Mommy's right here. Everything's going to be OK." His eyeballs were rolling around and he wasn't quite focusing yet. By this time, Dr. O, the principal, was there, and the program was over and the third graders were filing past us, and everyone kept asking, "Is he OK? Is he going to be all right?"
Dr. O offered to carry Isaac out to the car, and although I would have loved to do it myself, I couldn't have done it. So he so kindly and gently carried my little pale man halfway across the mall parking lot to our car. By now Isaac was talking, and he asked, "Where's my coat? Is my coat still on the bus? I want to go home..."
I told him we would go get his coat, and that I would take him straight home. I asked him if he remembered what happened. He did not. I asked him why he had been looking at his hands, and he showed me the two little open blisters on his middle fingers, where he had rubbed them raw with him thumbs during the program. I asked him why he did that, and he said it was because he was so nervous. I also asked him if he'd eaten his lunch. He had not. He was too nervous.
He told me that the numbness had started in his legs, and when it got to his face, everything went black. Apparently that happened pretty close to the beginning of the second to last song, because he doesn't even remember singing any of it. He was worried that he had hurt the children standing near him, but I assured him that no one got knocked down and that everyone was OK. He was embarrassed at first, but then after Mrs. B, his teacher, called the house to see if he was OK, he decided that fainting during the Third Grade Christmas Program was pretty cool after all.