We have our End of Year Show today. I am really excited about it. The kids are in a play, my son is showing one of his stop action movies, my daughter is playing “’Tis So Sweet” on the recorder and then dancing with some friends at the end. There is a friend’s son who went to Jerusalem a couple of months ago and he has a slide show presentation about the trip. I can’t wait to see that!
My true prayer is that everything is peaceful. I don’t want any stress about time, order or nerves to color the afternoon with friends. One of my biggest problems with performances of any type is the tension and drama behind the scenes. The desire to be perfect can ruin things.
And the narcissism frankly grates on my nerves. How much stage time, how many lines, how many mistakes, me, me, me. I really struggle with the right-ness of it all. It seems one way to feel important is to employ frantic whispers, rushed bustling and barely contained energy. I understand the excitement, but the wrong motives and focus can make ‘excitement’ just plain ugly.
This is one of my personal hang-ups. My problem. I handle it by avoiding these situations as much as possible, especially while my children are still young and impressionable. I do not want to raise them with such an unhealthy focus on self.
But there is the whole baby and bathwater deal. Sometimes there is something very good about the sense of accomplishment that a performance can supply. The kids have worked so hard memorizing lines and learning the subtleties of acting with the play they are doing. To get the opportunity to work with others and complete something is an awesome experience.
That is why we are doing this. I have purposely kept it informal. Kids not currently on stage will sit in the audience with parents—I hope one way to eliminate back-stage drama is to eliminate the back stage! I will be introducing each presentation while they are getting set up. I hope this will avoid the self-important bustling. My hope is that the whole thing turns out to be a relaxed evening with small-town kids showing what they have learned this year.
I know I can’t take the self-consciousness out of someone else. I can’t stop all the me-talk and competitiveness that will happen. I will just have to let that go and try to steer my kids to remember Whom we are supposed to be glorifying all the time. And maybe work on my own self-righteousness!