I continually find myself amazed by, IN AWE OF these creatures I have been given to raise.
Sometimes I’m amazed that they can eat so much or what they won’t eat or how much of a mess they can make or how long they can put off doing something I’ve asked, but mostly–mostly I’m amazed at watching them become their own people.
As my oldest writes her own story at my alma mater, doing things I never dreamed of doing, I’m amazed. I watch her and think, She’s the cool one I always wanted to be friends with. And I’m lucky enough that we’re even better than friends.
For the past eighteen months, I’ve watched our Princess swim and swim well. I can hold my own in the water, but she knows strokes and dives and turns and the ins and outs and it just makes me wonder, where on earth did all that come from? She is something to see.
Cooter is figuring out who he is and what his thing is. Poor guy, he often gets stuck doing whatever his sister is doing. He enjoys it but still. He plays piano, does gymnastics, and after working really hard last summer, he also made the swim team.
But recently I saw him step out on his own to do something, and it took my breath away. In that moment I realized I was watching him move one step closer to figuring out and becoming who he is.
We watched a youth performance during Christmas, and it was wonderful. Cooter loved it, and I saw a spark in his eyes when they showed previews for their spring performances. He was intrigued. I mentioned to him that he could maybe try out, and he alternated between nervous and interested. Aub helped him pick out his audition lines and memorize them. Those lines stayed on our refrigerator where he could stand and practice them for over a week.
When the day came, he woke up excited. I suppose there were some nerves in there, but my little ham was ready. We dropped his sister off, and we were on our way. He was #2 in line. We walked to the back of the theater to the entrance to the back where he would be auditioning in front of two of the adult directors. The helper asked him if he was nervous. He shrugged and grinned. He didn’t seem to be very upset that I wasn’t supposed to go back with him.
I, on the other hand, was a mess. I held it in, but inside I was a rumbly tumbly tee-total mess. That was my baby back there…..
He went back for a few minutes. When he came out, he had a grin on his face and walked right past me, not even seeing me.
He’s been excited ever since. No question, no turning back, no second thoughts. He’s all about this play. He’s also had this day, TODAY, in his head as THE DAY for two weeks. It was two weeks ago that he auditioned, and today was his first rehearsal. He woke up reminding me of what day it was.
As if I could forget.
What a cool kid, y’all.
He found people he knows to sit with and never looked back. He clapped for others as their parts were announced and the look on his face when he found out his part was priceless. At least it seemed to be. I was all the way across the room with the parents.
Because he’s almost grown now, you know. He’ll be 9 very soon–or “hitting the double digits next year,” as he likes to rush things and remind me.
It was a lovely afternoon. The program is organized and fun and a really, really good place for these young people. The playwright, bless him, didn’t finish writing the play until he found out how many cast members he was going to have.
So he wrote a play with forty-six different characters.
That made me smile almost as big as Cooter when I learned that.
What a beautiful thing for these children. Each and every one of them matter. Each and every one important. I’m so thankful that we happened upon this theater program. Or, you know, were led there.
Tonight I’m thankful for the experiences I get to have because of these unique people I’m blessed to know and raise. My Mama used to say, “You brought them into the world, now let them show it to you.” Maybe she was quoting someone, I don’t know. But beautiful words all the same. And they’ve really hit home with me lately. I love the world my children show me. One full of love, laughter, justice, mercy, grace, teasing, storytelling, and joy. Sure, it’s a messy world
much most of the time. But I will tell you this, I wouldn’t trade anything for it.
Love to all.