Ahh Christmas. The season of wonder. Of beauty. Of hope. Of joy.
Nothing gets me into the Christmas spirit more than the special services held at our church in December. The season of Advent, the period of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, is a holy time in the church and truly sets the tone for Christmas Day.
This past weekend, a Christmas program was presented by the children in the church entitled Angel Alert. The children, led by a group of very dedicated and talented leaders, have practiced for this night for months.
Both of my children were in the play. My daughter (8) had her first solo (she was soooo nervous!) and my son (4) was to sing with the group for the first and the last song.
Here’s a little background on the day leading up to the play…
Earlier in the day, our children attended a birthday party. There was cake. Pizza. Fun. And goodie bags. Goodie bags with candy and plastic toys in them.
My son grew particularly fond of a game that was worn on his wrist. It looked very much like a watch, and that is what he called it. And he insisted on wearing it to church…
This is what happened when the music started…
The entry was a flurry of excitement. The children took to the stage decked out in matching shirts and halo garland adorned each of their angelic heads. The music began to play. The trumpet began to sound. Their voices lifted high and loud in song.
Except for my son’s.
His “watch” had come loose.
He took this particular moment to fumble with it, clumsily trying to put it into his pocket. This drew the attention of his buddy beside him, who became curious about this amazing thing Eston had.
The choir was singing beautifully.
My son and his buddy were playing show and tell off to the side. This was the scene:
The first song ended and it was time for our little “angel” to come sit with us until it was time for the last song.
He took his seat between me and his Daddy, who promptly scolded him for his behavior while on stage. He began to cry. He dramatically snuggled into me (the parent not fussing at him). He asked that the watch be put back on his wrist and promised not to fidget with it again during the program.
Our daughter sang her solo beautifully. I was so proud of her. The play moved along, the story unfolding of Jesus’ birth. The angels rejoiced.
It was time for the last song.
Eston made his way boldly to the front of the church.
He decided this time that he wasn’t going to settle for standing on the end like before. This time, he wanted to stand front and center.
My husband and I looked at each other nervously. I prayed silently that our son wouldn’t grab a microphone and sing a solo of his own.
The last song began. And then the “watch” came off.
As the children began to sing their finale, Eston shouted (and held out the watch for all to see), “DADDY! MY WATCH CAME OFF!!! CAN YOU FIX IT? DADDY!!”
My husband and I sunk down into our seats. There were a few chuckles from the audience. Several knowing glances.
A quick-thinking helper took the watch from Eston and he joined in with the other singing and rejoicing angels. Waving his arms. Shouting for joy. His performance was complete.
I have laughed about that little performance all week. Yes, it was a bit embarrassing that the one child who didn’t stick to the program was our son.
It also taught me a few things about what really happens when your child is that child during a program like this:
- The children’s musical was still beautiful. Eston’s antics didn’t change that one little bit.
- Nobody will remember that he acted the way that he did (except for my husband and I).
- The other kids didn’t even notice.
- No children’s play would be complete without a child doing something unscripted.
I think that as a parent, when it comes to plays and musicals and performances, I tend to zone in only on what my child is doing and only notice when they do something out of the realm of what they should be doing. On the flip side of that, seeing my children sing and perform with excitement and joy brings a pride that I never fully experienced until I became a parent.
Needless to say after that performance – our family is officially in the Christmas spirit. And our son has already forgotten about the “watch” that caused such a dramatic display during the angelic Christmas play.