The last of our school productions is tonight and our youngest is the participant. Thus far, he has sat through two band performances, one school musical and an Honor's Band Recital (not to mention a few lacrosse games thrown in for good measure), but tonight he is the star of the show--in my eye's anyway. I have had quite a preview already given that it is all he has spoken about for weeks and yet I am so excited about tonight's performance. I am marveling in my little one's enthusiasm as he as always been the reluctant participant--the child who looked like a deer in headlights up on stage and oh, the torture it was to convince him to get on the stage in the first place. I could never rest in the audience for fear that he might have a breakdown and need to be removed from the stage. Okay, it only happened once, back in pre k 3, but it was gruesome. Picture this. I am the penultimate wallflower, the type of person who goes out of her way to stay out of view and there is my son, on stage, quite visibly 'losing it.' I tried giving him 'the eye,' trying desperately to mentally cajole him into pulling it together and staying on stage. Alas, he wasn't buying any of my desperation and his quiet sobs soon became and all out cry fest. I had no choice but to remove him from the stage lest he disrupt the rest of the show for the other parents whose children were regaling them with their rendition of Skidamarink. In the meantime, sweat poured down my back as my eyes darted for the nearest exit, my son in a football hold under my arm. It seemed as though time stood still and everyone eyes were on me, partially annoyed at the disruption and partially thankful that it was my child causing the ruckus and not there's.
Thankfully, I have no such worries tonight as my son is a changed boy, no longer the one cowering in the back, but confident and eager to get on the stage (and get it over with!). I must admit, however, with my high schooler attending an uber-special political dinner tonight and my little guy ready and happy to take the stage with his friends, I long for that preschooler who could not bear to be apart from me. If only I could turn back the clock for a little while to be needed like that again.