/> Raising Angels: I'll Be There For You

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

I'll Be There For You

Last Friday I sacrificed my only 2 free hours of the week to head in to school early to watch Dawson be an extra in the third grade play.

"Do you have any lines?" I asked him.


"Do you really want me to come?" I asked, praying that he would say don't bother.

"Yes Mama. I get to go on stage three times."

"What do you do?"

"I stand there to be counted!"
So there I was with a big-eyed, dimple-faced cutie staring at me, thinking there is no way I should be going to this play. I drop Max off for school downtown at 9:30 get back at 10, go to Dawson's play at 10:30 and teach at 12. I had a lot of things to do, things that needed to get done...especially since we are getting ready to leave town for a week. I didn't want to spend that time watching someone else's kid's play while mine came on for a second to be counted.

And then I remembered.

I remembered every dance recital, band concert, play and sporting event I ever participated in. I remembered that, no matter what, someone was there for me. Mostly, I remembered how comforting it was to have my parents in the audience and how proud I was to show off my skills.

It was a no brainer. I had to go. Not only did I go and watch him, but since that left me with right under an hour before teaching, I stayed and helped with his little cast party.

He loved me to come with him. He absolutely beamed when I dropped in back stage to snap a photo before the show started.
He proudly held my hand as we marched back into his classroom. He slid right up beside me as we ate pizza together.

I knew right then and there (and really before I even decided to do it) that I made the right decision. I remembered my parents' mantra, "We support each other because that's what families do." So, that's just what I did. Quite frankly, it's who I am, as inconvenient as it is sometimes.

I sat at that play with a smile plastered to my face and shot pictures like crazy of my little guy...standing. He was amazing and I told him so. Good day.

Today, however, I discovered that the date for Aiden's play, which he just happens to have the lead in, is precisely when I will be out of town. It took my breath away. Since it wasn't officially in the book, I asked the teacher if there was another day she could do it. After some hesitation, she said if I would move my play, which is already on the calendar and has dozens of fliers with our date on it already colored, we could switch. I agreed because the inconvenience it would cause me is a small price to pay to see my boy in his shining moment (the play has been a constant topic of conversation for weeks now).

Unfortunately, that date didn't work either because of field trips, lesson plans, etc. And, even though I knew how selfish it was for me to even ask, I was totally devastated when the reality hit that I was actually going to miss it.

In the grand scheme of things a second grade class play is not life altering. But today it most certainly is. When Aiden leaped into my classroom after school, he happily announced that he knows the date of the play and it isn't when I'm in Las Vegas; he was so happy that I nearly burst into tears.

"Listen buddy, I am going to be out of town on that day," I managed in my bravest voice.

A look of shock came over his face. "No you're not; it's not the week of your trip."

"I know bud, but remember that race I said I would run with Uncle Kevin? That's the same time as your play. I'm so sorry...really sorry. I signed up for this before I even knew you were going to have a play. I already have my plane ticket. I talked to your teacher and I'm going to come to your dress rehearsal okay? I will still get to see you and it will be even better because I'll be the only one there," I said hoping like crazy he would buy it.

He bravely held back tears and was completely deflated. My heart broke. "Hey, I already called Daddy and had him put it on his calendar so he will definitely be there for you. I'm sure Bama and Dampa will come and probably Papa and Damma too. You might have the biggest audience there. It will be great, you'll see. I'll have them take videos so I can see you in it again okay?"

"Sure, okay," he managed.

I guess the lesson here is that no matter how hard you try, you can't make everything. Will he remember every single backyard soccer practice and game I sat through? Will he think about all the flag football games I made? I certainly hope so. Will he suffer for the rest of his life because I can't make the play? I am absolutely positive he will survive this. Will he get a guilt gift better than his siblings for his play because I can't make it? Absolutely, positively, YES.

What can I say? Sometimes, you have to help the positive memories along.


Blogger nicole said...

I was thinking of this post yesterday when my oldest daughter's softball coach called with the spring schedule. We have four kids on four different teams, so it will be very rare for both my husband and me to be at a game. I'm just hoping one of us can make it each time. Thankfully my in-laws live here too, but it is not the same. I understand how torn you feel.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I could record it and bring it to right to you with two babies in tow. Just like you did for me while I was in the hospital. Have a great trip.

9:49 PM  

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