Here is a picture of my two oldest children (1st grade and Kindergarten) dressed up for the annual Christmas show at Holy Name of Jesus School. They were very excited about the show and had been practicing their songs for weeks.
Each class was to sing one song…totaling about one minute “on stage.” And they were going to be on the bleachers on the sides of the gym, so they were not really “on stage” at all. None of this mattered in the least to my children.
Unfortunately, it mattered a lot to my husband and me. We found lots of things to complain about! First of all, only one of us could attend. Our other children, ages 4, 3, 1-1/2, and 1-month (at the time) simply would not do well at a 6:30 p.m. show (couldn’t they think of a more family-friendly time!?).
Second, the parent who did go to the show would be sitting in a hot, crowded, smelly gym listening to every child in the school perform for over an hour (did I mention that our children were only going to sing for two minutes?).
Third, as the children would be on the bleachers on opposite sides of the gym, there was really nowhere to sit to see both children…and forget snapping a picture! Not to mention getting home until after bedtime…
I joked with my husband that we are in trouble. God willing, there will be countless more shows! Thus, there is serious need of an attitude adjustment here. After all, I remind myself, it is a GIFT to be healthy and able to attend a show where your beautiful, healthy children are using their God-given talents to delight you!!!
My husband went to the show this year (I went last year). He texted me a few
complaints updates so I could be there in spirit. When they arrived home, the four freshly bathed children and I were sitting in the kitchen having a bedtime snack. I was instantly sad that I had missed the show.
Two well-dressed, positively glowing children came into the kitchen. “Mom, it was AWESOME,” they said in unison. They each sang their song for us since we weren’t able to be there; and when my son told me that the show was all for Jesus, I experienced one of those fleeting, heart-warming, “I want to freeze everything right now” moments.
It was a brief moment as my husband and I scrambled to bathe the older kids and get everyone (except the small infant who has no bedtime yet) snug in their beds. Craziness continued for an
eternity extra half-hour that night.
When I finally got into a hot shower that night (my nightly reward as soon as the five older kids are in bed), I felt happy as I reflected. In contrast to our “it’s all about me” culture where fame is so coveted, my children (and not just my children) were so content and pleased with their “one minute of fame” (shared with 24 classmates!) with the focus on Jesus. I pray that “this” might always be enough.
I admit I’m very far from perfect in this regard: one big reason that I blog is that I crave recognition and validation for my crazy hard job of stay-at-home mom. But I do *try* to remember that everything I do is, as a song that plays on the Christian radio channel proclaims, for “an audience of One”.
Fame is not necessarily bad (some people most definitely deserve attention and praise for sharing their gifts with the world), but I think (as I channel surf at night and quickly pass by so many degrading reality shows featuring individuals trying to “make it”) that people do not realize what they are truly seeking…to be recognized, loved, and respected by others (sadly they do not realize their worth in God’s eyes just for…being).
My children experienced powerful feelings associated with fame that night…and they were well-ordered, righteous, and holy. I’m praying they’re enough to last a lifetime…and, I’m so glad that it’s my turn to go to the Christmas show next year (and I hope that I remember this…)!
Copyright 2014 Trish Bolster