Saturday, December 11, 2010

Anyone who tells you that kid productions lack drama isn't paying attention.

Yesterday, I got to see my first grader participate in a Nativity Play.  He was a shepherd. 

Now all week long, he has chatted happily about the prospects of being a shepherd, about wearing a blue bathrobe in church, about how glad he was that we would all see him on Friday.  

Friday came.

Suddenly, when the music was playing and the church was packed with parents and the other classes from the school, that aisle walk seemed pretty long.   The narrating angel gave her lines about the shepherds coming from the fields to the manger.   Two shepherds walked forward.  One held back.   He looked around.  He took a few steps and then turned around and walked back out of view.  We waited. The other shepherds were halfway to the scene of Joseph and Mary and I felt for my little son who felt overwhelmed by all the eyes.  My two daughters were sitting on my lap and one of them having seen this asked, "Why isn't Johnny walking up with the others?  Is he scared?" 

"No," I whispered to stop the line of questioning.  "He's acting. He's a shepherd and this was a miracle that had never happened before and so he is in awe.  Fear and trembling at the wonder of the angels and the baby Jesus." I whispered back and mentally willed him to reappear.  There was no way to gracefully exit the church to check on him.  Anxious waiting as versus blessed, but I waited with everyone else for that third shepherd.

Fortunately, my oldest daughter was in the back of the church along with the teacher who was lining kinds up.  Apparently, his sister helped John reset himself by telling him NOT to look at anyone in the eyes.  John returned to the aisle, his head bent low. The shepherd's helm covered him so that no one could see his face.  He began walking.  By the time he got to our pew, we could see his face, one of utter concentration with no small amount of fear.  I worried he'd suddenly bolt.  When he got to the front, his fellow shepherds gave him a bit of a squeeze and I exhaled, grateful in my heart that he hadn't received the role of Joseph.

The rest of the show went on without a hitch and John even sang at the end, as he was part of an ensemble and not a soloist.  Blessed Advent.

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