I have never been one of "Those Moms." You know...the mushy ones. The ones that have cute little kid stickers on the back of the minivan...the ones who get all teary-eyed when they insist that motherhood is "the best thing"...the ones who wear their Mom Badges 24/7. Not that there's anything wrong with all that. I'm just not one of them.
But then there's...Show Night.
It seems--much to my husband's amusement--that when Ben is in a school show, I completely lose my mind. I not only become one of them, I lead the parade and carry the "My Kid Rules" banner. But really, if you had seen him tonight, singing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" you would understand. Not to mention that he, himself, my Ben, was one of The Three Loud Ducks. Yep...the teacher chose him to be one of the stars. (Okay, maybe "star" is a stretch, but he was standing at the front of the stage, proudly waving a duck puppet in the air, hand on hip, quacking louder than anyone else as one of THE three loud ducks...)
I become one of those insane mothers on Show Night. I think about it all day. I plan his outfit (and mine). I charge the camera battery. I drive my husband nuts while we're all getting ready shouting out Estimated Times of Departure: "We gotta be outta here in 10 minutes!" I stress the entire drive there about whether or not we'll get good seats. I even strategize: "Hey honey, if we get there and the front is taken, should we choose closer up and to the side, or further back and in the middle?" Yeah. For real. I know. It's amazing the man sticks around.
And when all the kids start pouring out onto the stage and I'm scanning their little faces and spot MINE....? It is the absolute silliest feeling of satisfaction and excitement and pride. He sings for 2 minutes and smiles and waves and makes goofy faces and plays "Let's-step-on-each-other's-shoes" with his friend and I feel like my kid won the Pulitzer. The sense of pride is frightening. And, what, exactly, am I proud of? That he can sing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider"? That he was picked to be a duck? That he is happy enough at this little, wonderful school that he goes on stage, happily and readily with his friends to perform for his family? Yes, actually. All of that. But also, it is one of my first glimpses into His Life. A life separate from Mama and Dada. School is a place of his own, where he's made his own friends, where he's figured out his own stuff, where he's building his own little beginnings of himself, without us. And although that's scary, it's mostly thrilling because it's what I want, more than anything, deep down in my heart: a happy, independent, strong son. So when I see him there, on stage, singing and dancing, I could not be happier. It is, most definitely, one of my very favorite Mommy Moments. Because that little boy up there is my star, whether he's one of the ducks or not.