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Diamonds, Ducks and A Lesson Learned

Amid the ashes, sometimes a diamond appears.  As I sift through the events of a crazy weekend, there are a few moments I’d like a DO-OVER, and a few moments erased.  The meltdowns (my own), a mom fail which at the time felt epic, are just a bit of the ickiness I’d like to forget.  Ashes.  As I sift through the grey dust, there is a glitter of something good.  A sparkly diamond amongst the grey, black dirt.  A little boy surprised me.  He performed in the pageant at our church, all by himself!  

Let me explain.  Our church puts on a huge outdoor pageant with live animals for three nights, three performances a night, every year.  

The three of us were signed up to be townspeople.  My youngest was asked to wheel a cart of ducks in.  I was to go with him.  We had signed up to do Friday and Saturday.  On Sunday, we were going to watch the performance.  

Things changed.  I wasn’t going to make it Sunday and neither was my oldest child.   Too many late nights and early mornings had worn us out, among other things.  But my youngest wanted to go. And be in it.  I knew they didn’t have a duck person for Sunday so his spot was still open.   I also knew I couldn’t go.  He’d have to do it on his own.  I wasn’t sure that was possible.   

Mark had to be there to introduce the show.  I wasn’t sure he could look after our son too.  People want to talk to him and he needs to be available.  I wasn’t sure this would work.  There were going to be thousands of people there.  (We had been averaging close to 4500 people a night!)  He could get lost or worse!  I reminded Mark that the boy was only eight years old.  (Like he didn’t know how old his son was!)   Mark patiently told me that he would take care of him.  B knew the drill; we’d done it six times already.   So I let him go and prayed hard.  (OK just a note here – my husband is not an incompetent!  He’s actually very good with the boys.  It’s my own helicopter tendencies being played out here.  Can you say control freak?)

Shortly after six, I texted Mark.  I couldn’t resist.  DID B DO THE SHOW?  B did indeed do the show and was having a great time!  Mark was with him when he could be and had arranged for another couple to keep an eye on B when he was behind the scenes.  My little boy, did this three times on his own.

But the incredible thing – the thing that makes this gem-worthy, is this boy can get so nervous he can barely think straight.  A meltdown is right around the corner.  He’ll decide he can’t do it and then worry about making the wrong decision.  So I was surprised when he wanted to go and be in it when it meant he had to be on his own.  

I think what helped was he was responsible for the ducks.  It helps when you have to worry about someone or something other than yourself.  He loves animals and our entrance point was with baby goats, and calves.  The baby goats were cute with their small horns and their loud bleating.  They’d try and make a dash for it when their handlers set them down.  It was fun to watch.  


He also knew the routine of where he was supposed to enter and exit and what he was supposed to do.  Thank goodness for routine!

He knew people were looking out for him.  He wasn’t really alone.  Support was in place.  

It was really hard to say yes and let him go.  To trust that he would be okay.  It’s a spot I’m finding myself in more and more.  They are tugging on the apron strings and at appropriate times, I’m finding myself having to give an inch or two.  

Last nigh was worth it.  He came home, bright and shiny!  He was proud of himself and rightly so.  He’d had a great time.  It was a stone laid in his foundation that said HE CAN rather than He Can’t Because It’s Too Scary.   A woman had recently told me a similar story and how to use it to help kids overcome.  Focus in on what they have done well and use it to motivate and show them they CAN do it.

You can bet I’ll be shining that stone up repeatedly when he’s scared.  “You remember the time you went to pageant all by yourself…..”