Going into the night and the event, I had no idea what to expect. He had been talking about his program for weeks, singing songs to us at home that he had obviously rehearsed earlier in the day and was so incredibly excited the day of when they got to have a real "practice" in the worship center! He even told me that they pretended their mommies and daddies were there looking back at them as they ran through the whole program that morning. However, he can be shy in unknown situations and our experience with Jaden at his preschool programs taught us to go into it with low expectations as to how Brandon would actually respond and perform. (Or not perform at all. I was fully prepared for that).
He told me the day before that he wanted Mommy and Daddy to sit in the very front and so we made sure to have people there early saving front row seats. And a friend of mine shared this with me that night -- just an excerpt here:
"There's something quite beautiful that happens right before a school program begins. There's always one child on stage scanning the crowd with eager, almost frantic, eyes. And then suddenly, her eyes stop. As the child enthusiastically waves at a focal point in the crowd, a visible sigh of relief comes from her small chest. If you follow her gaze to see what brought her such great comfort, you will see love etched across the face of the person who met her gaze. That's when you know the child just found her reference point, her source of comfort, her go-to place in times of uncertainty and doubt."
And as the program began and the preschool classes starting filing in down the center aisle, I spotted Brandon at the very back of the line, holding hands with his buddy as he was told to do. He immediately got up on his tip-toes, scanned the front of the crowd looking for me, and broke out into a smile the moment our eyes locked. He found his reference point. And then he put on quite a show.
Smiling at the rest of the family. :) He was so proud to be standing front and center of all the classes.
This night was such a memorable one for so many reasons. It's sweet enough listening to a bunch of four and five year-olds sing to Jesus for 30 minutes, but even sweeter still when watching your own little one do it in such a proud fashion. He took this program so seriously, and yet had so much fun at the same time. And every time his eyes would meet with mine, he couldn't help but smile. I loved every moment of this and wish I could relive it whenever I want to. Luckily... we have video!
Please excuse the pictures, as they won't mean much to you all without the music and song lyrics to go with them, but they mean a great deal to me. I sat and watched with pride and amazement as my shy boy, who had just two hours prior been too nervous to even step out onto the soccer field at his first practice, let his light shine in the most special of ways. Front and center for everyone to see. With a smile on his face. Singing proudly about God. I love him.
"and even when I'm afraid...
...I'm gonna let it shine..."
So incredibly grateful to be his reference point, his source of comfort, his go-to place.