This past weekend, three of the kids (Wolverine, Bear, and Sunflower) were in a musical at their church. I managed to make it past the front door of the church without holy water boiling over or the heavens separating in protest, so I found a seat next to Gary in a pew and settled in for the show.
Kids plus a stage is a recipe for some laughs, and the musical was no exception. All of the kids did a great job, and I had a smile on my face the entire show. Gary laughed out loud as the kids got into their parts or entertained themselves on the stage when their limited attention spans ran out and there were glorious props to play with all around them.
Dove, who is almost 3, did not have a part, and Gary and I joked that she would have taken over, rewritten the script, and run the show if she was permitted anywhere near the stage. She watched her brothers and sister from a safe distance and, in between the typical fussiness of a child that age, seemed to enjoy it as well.
Gary was so proud, I thought he was going to burst. When the kids came down from the stage, he couldn’t stop telling them how wonderful they were and how proud he was of them. Wolverine had a solo, and I thought for sure Gary was going to leap to his feet and proclaim, “That’s my son!”, but he was held firmly in his seat by simply watching Wolverine sing and enjoying the moment.
I admit I was hesistant about going. We helped the kids practice their lines and the songs, and I was floored by lines like “If it’s in the Bible, it must be true!” I can’t support cutting children off from critical thinking and making their own decisions, as they gain maturity and insight, about religion and spirituality. There is nothing but chains in a “don’t think, don’t question, just accept because we said so” mentality.
I’m still not comfortable with those undertones of the musical, but the performance was wonderful and I was proud of the kids for the work they put into it. It was beautiful watching their faces, all of them, as they received the applause and a standing ovation at the end.