july 22 was rife with anxiety and anticipation. anxiety because this was sterling’s first day ever to stay longer than a ½ day at pre-k. anxiety also because this meant he would go without a much required nap. but the means justified the ends (or so i told myself) because this was a much anticipated day… sterling’s first public performance!
anyone who knows sterling knows he loves to perform. and so as we sent sterling off to school we began in earnest to wait in eager anticipation for his mid-afternoon performance.
and though our parental goal was for everyone to see “just how absolutely adorable our son is”, which ultimately they did… it wasn’t exactly the way we had envisioned.
goal one: arrive early enough to scout out the best viewing location.
unfortunately, on our way to the seating area i spotted sterling and made eye contact with him. ut oh. we were then rushed ushered off to our premium front row seats (kudos for being foreigners) where i used all my remaining energy to hold back my tears (at this point i was missing sterling terribly) and hold myself in my seat (because all i wanted to do was hug him). thankfully, the locals kept me distracted with all their gawking at the cute little baby in pink.
goal two: pretend to care about the other children’s performances as you wait for your child’s.
not soon enough the program begins… and all i kept thinking was, “where’s my baby boy?” thankfully our premium seating included a table for holding our dsl and flip cameras. thankful for the little things.
goal three: stay seated.
finally, sterling’s class emerges from behind the stage and i can’t help but wear a “proud momma” smile… which looks nothing like the grimace in the previous picture. 😉
goal four: stay out of view.
against all motherly instincts i refrained from waving my hands while jumping up and down and shouting out crazy things like “woop!” and “that’s my boy!”
goal five: everyone stay in place.
that includes me. though my heart skipped a beat when i first saw him i was able to exercise some semblance of self control and stay seated.
goal six: enjoy the show!
seriously, how could i not with so much cuteness displayed on one stage? (did you notice there’s only 1 girl in his class?)
goal seven: don’t panic.
easier said than done when your toddler is standing on a huge public stage looking more frightened than excited as he frantically looks for you in the midst of a bunch of strangers.
i will admit to intervening at this point. which means i got out of my seat and stood in sterling’s line of vision in hopes that it would encourage him. i don’t know what i was hoping to encourage him to do ’cause i’m positive if he had seen me we would have had experienced a melt down.
goal eight: stay cool, calm and collected.
because when my baby boy runs off the stage into the arms of another woman all i want to do is run over to him so that i can be the one to console him. but because social norms dictated i act in his best interest i did the only thing i knew to do, stay put.
goal nine: keep perspective.
even when my biggest desire was to meet my son’s immediate needs with a mommy hug, keeping perspective required me to remember that we entrust sterling into these ladie’s care three mornings a week… and certainly they are able to care for him even when i am present. on this occasion i also had to remember that he didn’t choose them over me (he didn’t even see me), but instead was choosing to not be on the stage. isn’t it cute that his front row pengyou (friend) was concerned enough about him to keep his eye on him?
goal ten: be grateful – even in my mistakes.
immediately after his class finished their performance i rushed back stage to comfort/retrieve (read: hug) sterling. unfortunately i didn’t know that sterling’s class was scheduled for two performances. so, by my making an appearance not only did i confuse him but i upset him when i left him for the second time. oops. thankfully, instead of making sterling join his class for their second performance the teacher brought him to us… and we were able to enjoy it together.
unlike me, when we arrived jarod didn’t have 10 goals to help him get through sterling’s debut performance… he had one: don’t freak out about sterling wearing make-up!
on a sweeter note, afterwards we promised sterling an icecream. to our delightful surprise when we entered mcdonald’s a worker handed sterling and liberty me mini-cones for free! kudos for being so stinkin’ cute!
anxiety and anticipation aside, the day truly was one for the memory books!