I wish my computer wasn't a dinosaur so I could share pictures on here, but since it is, you will just have to imagine it all with me. Go ahead - close your eyes and picture this: My son, Brody who is skinny and all arms and legs. He has small, oval shaped glasses and his head is basically bald (he likes to get the number 2 or 3 when he gets it buzzed - I won't let him get the #1 because he sort of resembles a cancer patient which freaks me out).
He is dressed as a shepherd, but not like any shepherd I've seen pictures of - his robe is a lovely sour apple green. His head covering is striped with that and a swirl of other psychedlic pastels. He told me, somewhat bitterly, that if he took of his head scarf thingy he would look like a 90 year old woman getting ready for bed. Sadly, I had to agree with him! lol
Last night was the Christmas program at school. I love elementary Christmas programs. There is always - and I mean always - something funny that happens. You just can't get that many 4 and 5 year olds in one place without at least one of them picking her nose or pulling her dress over her head. It's always hysterical (at least for me now that my kids are out of that stage). This time, one little guy in a velvet (VELVET!!) suit fell over backwards into the girl behind him. If looks could kill, that poor little chap would no longer be with us. That little girl - who bore such a striking resemblance to Cindy Lou Who from the Grinch Stole Christmas that my brother even remarked on it! - scowled the entire time and twitched constantly. I think her dress was itchy or something.
Then there are the older kids who are, no matter how "cool", are very earnest in their attempts to remember lines and do a good job. Some of the kids seem to want to fade into the background while others don't want to give up the stage lights. There was one part where some of the kids were dressed in choir robes and stood behind the main character swaying. I could hardly keep from laughing out loud because one boy in the back had, apparently, missed the trait of rhythm when it was handed out - he would dip his shoulder and awkwardly wrench it back upright and then lurch to the other side to do it gain. Then they added hand motions and I was a little afraid his head would explode or he'd run from the stage screaming.
Another little choir robed child didn't have this issue at all. In fact, her shimmy and shake up there made me wonder if perhaps she had forgotten she was supposed to be in a choir and thought she was at a Vegas show. I will say this - she had a lot of rhythm and bounce! lol
My son is a 5th grader now so that means he and his classmates were the oldest ones up there. He took it quite seriously. I found it rather ironic that the child who spends two thirds of his time making movies of himself where he uses various voices, contorts his face like Jim Carey, and basically abandons any scrap of self-consciousness, asked for a part with no lines - insisted on it really.
However, he and his cousin and best friend (we are considing combining their names and calling them either Brody and Jonathan Bowack or Ackman) came up with their own special part in the play. They were cast as two shepherds (and got to carry some very large, very cool looking staffs). Their unique twist was to run up and down the aisles telling everyone the good news. Then they'd meet in the front, give high fives or chest bumps and run again. The would link arms and do a circle, shaking their hands in the air. They were very busy and very fast. I think they ran up and down the aisles at least half a dozen times and their chest bumps and high fives got quite a few chuckles from the audience. I was just glad they had put their giant staffs down. Someone could have poked an eye out.
Kids' Christmas programs are so much fun for me because the kids, for the most part, enjoy it so much. They love sharing the story of Jesus and the manger. They, in all their messy, unorganized, unpolished fervor, gave me the joy of Christmas. Because, to be perfectly honest, I haven't been feelin' it this season.
Sure, the tree is up and there is a growing stash of presents in my closet, but circumstances have not made me very excited about the season. Trying to figure out presents and affording them for everyone, heavy decisions weighing on my mind and my husband's, and even the fact that since I got my tooth pulled my sinuses have gone haywire have all conspired to sort of leave me feeling a bit flat this season. I haven't even put on any Christmas music yet and it is December 9th!
But last night, as I watched the abandoned exuberance and contagious excitement of young kids sharing the Christmas story - not perfectly but enthusiastically - I felt the joy of the season creep into my heart. It's not about presents or unfavorable circumstances. It's about running up and down the aisles shouting that JESUS HAS COME!!! JESUS, the God of heaven and Creator of the universe, came as a tiny baby to save the world.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go blast some "Hallelujah Chorus."