As we begin and enjoy the Christmas break from school, it’s nice to have a moment of quiet to reflect on the events of last week. Freezing drizzle ice travels, lots of family, laughs and fun. However, one of the best moments of last week came amongst what is usually my least favorite annual event.
Each year, our little country school hosts a Christmas program. I love listening to all the kids, kindergarten through eighth grade, sing and play their musical instruments. It’s so great to witness their progress through the years, and showcase the school-wide talent. However, the part which makes this my least favorite activity is everyone smushed into the gymnasium! It’s a K-8th sea of students, teachers and staff, parents and grandparents, packed in elbow to elbow with standing room only; and I’m positive we max out any fire code capacity restrictions. Other than the cramped quarters, I love it. (It only lasts about an hour, so it’s not that bad.)
During the program, there are usually several students who sing or play a solo or duet. Several weeks ago, our son came home and stated that he was going to try out for one of these solos. My husband and I tempered our immediate internal response with positive surprise and encouraging words. However, after he went to bed we both expressed our own personal anxiety and shock at the news. We could not believe it! Our somewhat quiet and reserved son was gong to make a bold and public move. He has a nice voice, but could he sing in front of all those people? What if he chokes? What if he messes up and everyone laughs? Oh, the list in our minds rolled on. But we were determined to encourage and support his endeavor.
So after weeks of practicing “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” together, our brave and thoughtful young man made sure that his little sister would cooperate the next morning in order to be on time for his try-out before school. He made it to the try-out, and right into the Christmas program with a solo! However, it wasn’t until 2 days before the program that he realized what this meant.
And with nerves aside, he successfully sang his song a cappella, in front of 600-700 people. Wow!
I agreed to sit up front where he could see us, not knowing if there would be room. As the doors of the school opened, I quickly wriggled my way to the front and camped out in the second row right in front of where he would sing. As he walked up to the mic, I poked my head into the aisle. Our eyes locked and I couldn’t help but offer an encouraging and proud mom-smile. That afternoon at the dress rehearsal he had been so nervous, he didn’t even look up once. But that night, he smiled so big and sang so beautifully, eyes up and with a courageousness that astounds me.
I was all but forced to sing seven little words in my forth grade play and thought I was going either pass out or pee my pants! To me, his bravery and courage were amazing. I am convinced that there are few things better on this earth than witnessing your children grow and do awesome things. What a moment. His dad and I are over-the-moon proud. And he had so much fun in the process! I love how he continually surprises and challenges us, constantly learning and teaching; and I wouldn’t trade it for a thing!