Orator (a story)
Brian was a very anxious little boy. Who stuttered like mad when he spoke. No matter that his family loved him to bits, nothing they did could make him less upset. So they put it down to Brian being Brian.
One day, Brian’s mom heard that stutterers never stutter when they sing. So she went on a mission to find a teacher who would help Brian. Which she did! (yay! Mama warrior!)
Mom took Brian to his lessons to see if it worked. And it really did!! As soon as he stopped speaking and started singing, he stopped stuttering.
So at home, his family got Brian to sing his responses to them. To practice what his teacher was helping hm learn. They didn’t tell him it was to help his anxiety and self esteem as well. He might have figured it out though. He was a much happier kid, being able to communicate with the people he loved and who loved him.
When mom confided in their priest, he came up with the idea of Brian being an altar boy. Brian was taught to sing responses in English, Latin and German. And to be understood in all of them! Brian was thrilled! As long as he was singing, he was multi-lingual!
Finally it was starting to affect his speech. He only stuttered around new people or when he was upset. His family were thrilled to bits!! Most of all so was Brian!
With that ground work in, mom put Brian in a debate class. He was taught to speak and argue, with dispassion about stuff that wasn’t really that important first. Well not to Brian anyway. Then as he gained confidence, they started adding in stuff Brian cared about. But they made him research, so he knew the material cold and could remove the passion from it.
With these successes, mom put Brian in as many speaking groups as Brian’s schedule permitted, without losing sight of the fact that he needed time with family and to just be a kid. This plan of action she had stumbled upon was having better effect than any anxiety pill or speech therapy had that they had tried on him. And most important, Brian was enjoying himself. Gaining confidence.
Don’t get me wrong, there were set backs. When Brian was teased at school, for eg. But the teacher, the priest and his family kept reassuring Brian.
But they had more successes than set backs over all. He gained a lot of confidence and stuttered less and less.
When the validictorian was chosen for Brian’s HS graduation ceremony… it was Brian! He almost passed out cold from nerves. But his entire family, his teacher and the priest all kept Brian practicing the tools he had been taught. And to actually sing if he got stuck on a syllable. Till he came out of the loop.
The day arrived. Brian was in a cold sweat. He thought he was going to puke. Or pass out. His mom almost called the school to have a replacement for the speech. But she calmed herself first, then her son. And had his older brother take him to the auditorium, instead of her. He was under strict orders to make the ride fun and not about the speech.
It worked, because Brian was a pretty happy kid when they all arrived.
The speech began…
“For those of you who don’t know me, my name is B- B- B (and he sang) Bri – an. and I’m your val-id-ic-tor-ian. ”
A few of the adults in the room had to be told why he was singing. Their kids whispered his tale to them. No it wasn’t Brian being silly.
Brian got into the swing of the speech and the audience was with him every step of the way. With bated breath in the cases of his family and his teacher. He stopped having to sing thru the loops. He stopped looping!
Finally he got to the end of the speech.
“Going forward, we can be a force of good in the world. And it began at this school.”
The audience errupted in claps and cheers when it was obvious he was done speaking. He got a standing ovation and there wasn;t a dry eye in the house. Brian was grinning and crying when his dad whooped and lifted him in a bear hug!
Brian had come so far.
When he was asked what he wanted to be for the school paper’s article, Brian said he wanted to be an orator. His mom just beamed. She was pretty sure he would be… now! (yay! Brian and yay! Mama Warrior!)
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