"How to Eat Like a Child"
Waiting for the play to begin
Elijah, with a friend and fellow cast member, after the show
As soon as that spotlight hit my son, I became emotional. I hadn't known what to expect, it being his first real play performance and all. He'd been so secretive the last couple of weeks, hinting at but never expanding upon the story line, his role, or the lyrics to the songs he'd be singing. "I want it to be a total surprise," he kept telling me.
Elijah has always had this way of embedding himself into my heart and then filling it to capacity with his larger-than-life passions. Recently, however, he has been more vigorously pushing at its borders, sometimes so forcefully I fear I will not be able to stand, even for one more minute, the piercing pain/ecstasy of that said heart being stretched in order to accommodate his swelling moods, ambitions and desires. Too often, I try to make him understand, right now, what took me decades to figure out via trial and p-l-e-n-t-y of error. Too often, I become so fixated on reigning in his "dangerous" impulses, I forget to marvel at and thoroughly appreciate his, straight-up extraordinary, creativity.
He came alive on that stage, and I relished, with tears in my eyes, the look of joy and satisfaction on his face. "Did you like it?" he asked me afterwards, and I promised him, while embracing him, that I did. It is good, sometimes, to let that "mommy guard" down – to delight, without any stipulations, in your child, just exactly as he or she is.
Bravo, sweetheart! I am very, very proud of you! You worked hard, you gave it your best, and it showed.
A big thank you to my dear friend, Beth, and my godson, Thomas, for keeping us company this weekend. Your presence was (as always) truly healing and refreshing. We sure do love you!