Once a year our church has the children give the program. The children practise for weeks, reciting scriptures, singing songs and going thru little skits. (Except for my children.) It’s the one Sunday you are guaranteed not to be able to find a parking spot when you come to late to church. (Like we did.) It’s the one Sunday when all the children are dressed in their sparkling white clothes and all the boys sport bowties. (Except for my children.)
Yes, the Children’s Sunday presentation is a beautiful event. Parents cry when their little ones say their parts. Mothers get that warm sense of satisfaction as their child raises their voice in song. Fathers beam proudly. Everyone is uplifted and inspired.
That is what Children’s Sunday is supposed to be like. And it used to be like that for us, way back when we had ONE, TWO children. But now? Now I have five children. And I’m old. And
lazy tired. Busy. And I take a far more relaxed, non-stressed, un-freaked-out approach to it all. So I never got around to checking whether or not my three young children had learnt their parts. I left that to their church teachers. And when the trio told me, ‘We have to wear new white dresses,white shirts,a red bowtie for the program” I said, Don’t be ridiculous. We don’t have money to waste on that stuff. Besides, Zach will just ruin a white shirt by playing in the dirt and it will be ripped within a few hours. You already have nice church clothes. Wear those. And when they tried to protest, I used it as a teaching moment. Does God care what color clothes you wear? No, I don’t think so. As long as they are clean and modest. What is important to God? It ain’t bowties, let me tell ya!
We got to the church a teensie bit late. The carpark was full, we had to park on the garden. Inside, all the other children were already up on the stand and getting ready to start the program. They were a shining calvacade of angels. All dressed in white. And the boys had perfect red bowties. My husband looked at me in accusing horror. “They’re all wearing white! What about your kids?” I said, Does God care what color clothes they wear?! blah blah. He didn’t look convinced. I sent the children up to the stand. Zach looked very handsome. And very obvious in his blue plaid shirt. Zion was shinier than everyone else in her pink glitter top. The program started. Bella loudly shouted her line into the mike. (I didnt even know she had one. Who makes 3 year olds recite scriptures in church?!) But she yelled it no problem and I wanted to lead a stadium wave on her behalf. Zion sang a duet number with another little boy. She sounded amazing. ( So glad she doesnt take after me in the voice dept.) Zach was up next. Rocked his verses with confident ease. (Must have been the shirt…) And then Zion had to recite her part. She stood up, started eagerly…and then halfway thru she stopped. Abruptly. Stamped her foot. And exclaimed VERY LOUDLY into the mike, “Oh darn it, I forgot my words!”
Heads turned to seek out the parents of this cursing child. I laughed. And sent Zion the biggest smile and most encouraging thumbs-up that was legally allowed in a place of worship. My husband gave me a look of accusing horror. (Dude, enough with the horror already. She’s your kid too.) My teenagers cringed and gave me looks of accusing horror. “Mum, why didn’t you make sure she knew her part!?” I said, “Why didn’t you? She’s your little sister.” A teacher rushed to give Zion a piece of paper to read from. She finished her part and sat down. I was so proud of her. She wore a pink glitter top, she spoke, she stumbled, she swore, and then she got back up and carried on to the end.
So, was this event another example of what a bad lazy mother I am? Yes. Did my children still rock in spite of their loser mother? Most definitely. Will I try to be good next year and make sure my children are better prepared? Probably. But I’m still convinced that God doesn’t care what color clothes we wear. So there.
And I’m super grateful that Zion didn’t say, “Oh shit.” Like her mum does.
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