Monday, December 17, 2007

My Little Grinch Heart Grew Three Sizes Today

So, about a month ago our church sent out a call for kids for this year's Christmas play. We asked Bubba if he wanted to be in it and of course he said he did (the kid is meant for the stage, I'm telling you!). And then we found out that rehearsals were TWO HOURS every Sunday for a 6 weeks and we immediately set about trying to change his mind. (We're a terrible influence, I know.)

Every Sunday we'd say "Are you suuuuurrrreee you want to be in the play."

And every week he'd emphatically assure us that YES, he wanted to be in the play.

Mr. Daddy took the brunt of this, really. Every week, Mr. Daddy and Bubba would head back to church while I sat here in the blessed quiet while Punkin napped. At the first rehearsal we found out that Bubba was to be a stable animal, though we didn't yet know what kind, and would only sing two songs yet was required to stay for the entire rehearsal.

"Whose bright idea was it to have a bunch of 4 and 5 year-olds sit around for two hours, waiting to sing two songs?" I asked.

"I don't know," Mr. Daddy replied. "But it was torture!"

On it went for several weeks. And then finally last week we got our animal assignment. We were a cow.

"Oh," Mr. Daddy said. "And we have to have his costume by next week. It has to be black or white sweats with coordinating cow spots."

"WHAT?" I had been under the impression that the church was going to be supplying the costumes. But even if not, they shouldn't wait until the WEEK of the performance to give us our costume assignments. We've been meeting for 6 weeks, for pete's sake.

So. I made a cow costume. It wasn't that hard really. I had been most concerned about being able to find appropriate colored sweats, but those were fairly easily located at Target. And then the ears had been a little bit of a conundrum, but Karen, our resident sewing and cow expert, told me exactly what I needed to do. And despite the fact that last week was somewhat hectic, I managed to get the costume completed. What do you think:

(For the record, I think Bubba is starting to exhibit the traits of the "can't keep your eyes open in a photo" gene that I passed on to him).

I thought it turned out rather well, if I do say so myself! Especially the ears! (Thanks, Karen!!).

And then so Saturday was the dress rehearsal. I ended up taking Bubba and when we arrived at the church, it immediately became obvious that I was one of about three mothers who had been required to make a costume. All of the other costumes were being supplied by the church. WTH? My frustration and pique were somewhat -- okay, a lot -- assuaged by all the compliments we received on our costume, but STILL.

As we were leaving, the lady in charge told all the kids to leave their costumes at the church. I spoke up and said "Well, I made his costume myself. It doesn't belong to the church. And also, he wore it here so he doesn't have any other clothes. "

"Oh. Well." she replied, looking a little perturbed. "Okaaaay. Just don't forget to bring it tomorrow!"

No duh, lady. I felt like saying "Like I've gone through all this effort to make the d-a-m-n thing and then we'll just oops! forget it on the day of the actual performance." But since it was church I let it slide. Also, she didn't really seem like she would catch the sarcasm.

And finally the day of the performance arrived. The play was the story of a modern day family, re-discovering the joys of being together for the holidays, intercut with the story of Mary and Joseph and their journey to Bethlehem.

And I watched Bubba, up on that stage, and I felt all the frustrations and irritations associated with the endless rehearsals and costume drama slip away. There was not a child in the production older than 12 and it was heartwarming to see them bring this age old story to life. Even though it was not the most tuneful production I've ever heard, it was really wonderful to hear all those little voices singing together, singing their little hearts out. It won't be long before they're all too self-conscious to sing, before some grinch tells them they're no good. But at that moment, they were full of love and pride and happiness. And they were making a joyful noise.

And there I was, Mr. Daddy on my left, my mom and step-dad on my right, Punkin alternating laps as she deemed necessary. Family. All around. And then we sang "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and it there it was. My Christmas Spirit. Returned.

I wish YOU a Merry Christmas.


Lauren said...


How sweet! I esp. love punkin's expression in that first picture. And GOOD job on the costume!!

We had our Christmas programs last was nice to take a minute away from shopping and stress to listen to my babies singing their lil' ol' hearts out.

All Adither said...

That is a great costume. Kudos to you.

Mir said...

Awwwww, merry Christmas to you, too! Bubba looks adorable (and Punkin's look of adoration in that first photo ain't so bad, either)! :)

Laurel said...

And I just caught the Christmas spirit while reading your post. Thank you!!! Loved every word.

And the cow costume is brilliant. I bet the best one there.

Esme said...

That's wonderful -- all of it, the costume and the togetherness and the spirit. Thank you!!!

caramama said...

That really did bring a tear to my eye. Very sweet!

And a great costume!

Leslie said...

Wow! The costume looks great! And there is nothing sweeter than hearing children sing, is there?

ImpostorMom said...

Good job on the costume. It would be difficult to hold on to the general grinchness after seeing the play. Very sweet!

Tootsie Farklepants said...

Awwww... I got a little chocked up at that. I LOVE his costume! And your daughter standing there in her pull-ups admiring her cow-brother is about the cutest thing ever!

el-e-e said...

That is about the sweetest thing I have ever heard. Great story. I would also have had your frustrations.. and then cried them away in happy tears. :) Merry Christmas! Get some rest!!

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

That was SO sweet! Bubba makes the best cow ever and you did a great job on his costume.

Colleen said...

AWESOME job on the cow costume! Mine would've been white sweats with black sharpie-marker spots, and probably no ears.