It’s the middle of a school week, and I’m getting ready to head out to the school for a little “musical” in which my fifth grade son, Aiden, is going to appear. But I have a little secret...I don’t really want to go. Before you turn me in to the Bad Mom Police, let me explain. I go to a great number of these things. Musicals, plays, poetry readings, and Heaven help us all, recorder concerts. I make it to all of them, but because we have no family nearby, I usually end up taking all my littlest kids with me. Sometimes these things are during the school day. Other times, like tonight, they are around our dinner time. I must have all the homework done for the other kids before I go and get all the kids fed. I must load them all up in their car seats and be sure the stroller is in the van. I have to take something for the baby and the toddler to do. Then we head out the door.
When we get to the school, I get out the double stroller and must weave in and out of the crowd of finely dressed moms and dads with my crew of about six or seven kids. All of my people, are slightly less than finely dressed. Then guess what we get to do. We get to cram on the bleachers with all the other parents. To keep any pre-k aged kid still and quiet for any amount of time at something like this is difficult, but bleachers add a whole other dimension. My two year old is kicking the man in front of us. The baby is starting to fuss. My four year old is so, so, so thirsty, and someone has to pee. It could be me that has to pee. I don’t really remember. I’m looking at the backpack I have to use in place of a purse and notice the fancy handbag of the mom in front of me. Her nails are done and her pants are white. I retired any possibility of white pants about four kids ago. Everything is stressful and loud and parents keep standing up in front of me with cameras so big, I have to wonder if they freelance forTMZ or the US Weekly between soccer games and hair appointments. I’ll be happy to get a fuzzy video on my iPhone to show my husband when he gets off work. All of this is for a 20 minute play where I can’t hear anything or see anything. I’m wore out and begin wondering what I’m even doing here.
I look around a very large man for Aiden, and I finally spot him. He is looking all over in the crowd for me. He’s getting a tad frantic. He just wants to know I see him. We make eye contact and he smiles. He is so happy. He just wants to know I’m watching and that I’m there. It doesn’t matter to him that he’s not the star of the show or that I have to look around the large man in front of me. He doesn’t care about my clothes or my hair or fussing babies or my substitute purse. He knows at that moment he is the star of my show. And that is all that matters to him. And that is all that matters to me. I’m suddenly able to ignore and forget about all the other stuff. I watch him. I mean, really, really watch him. I’m not watching because of all the great things he is doing right on stage. I’m watching because I love him. I don’t care what he’s doing, really. For just a few precious minutes, he is my only child.
At that moment, I didn’t particularly feel like the star of the show. Beyond the obvious distraction a crew like ours can cause, I don’t really stand out or look polished. I tie a sweater around my waist as I leave the house to keep my stretch pants on legally, throw my hair in a ponytail, and head out the door. How is it even possible that I could be the star of the show? But I think I am. I’m the star of God’s show. Zechariah 2:8 even says I am the apple of His eye. Little old me. When will it be so that if only God is pleased with me, than that is enough? When will it be so that if He has a plan for me (Jeremiah 29:11) and loves me, than that is enough? I’m getting there. I understand more all the time and am beginning to understand that if He is for me, than who can be against me? I am special and precious. It’s time I start beaming at that thought, like Aiden did, when he knew I was simply there watching him and was proud.
I, too, should be beaming, radiating, and completely fulfilled by this.
The show is over. We all get back in the van, and when I look at Aiden he is grinning from ear to ear. He is content. He is full of joy. I asked if he was smiling because he had fun. He said he had fun, but that he was happy I got to see him doing something he worked so hard at. Now I am content. And full of joy. Because I know God is watching me doing something I’m working so hard at. I don’t always get it right, but I’m still the star. Don’t ask for my autograph quite yet, though. I still have some work to do. My show is far from over.