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The Pride of the Christmas Play

I’ve never been so proud of a sheep…

At closer look though, this was no ordinary sheep. Due to the proficiency with which my eldest son played the role, at times during the performance it was hard to tell where reality stopped and fiction began. My son was selected this year to be a ‘dancing sheep’ in a twist on the nativity story. I don’t believe there were any auditions so I can only assume that my son’s natural sheep-like talents have shone through in the classroom.

My wife went to the matinee performance in the afternoon, leaving me to attend the evening (and I think ‘main’) performance. When I arrived home from work though I was ‘welcomed’ by a 6-year-old flat out on the couch looking a long way from ready for the big show. But once we helped him into his costume comprising of black pyjama trousers an oversized t-shirt and for some reason a backward baseball cap (I guess sheep were more fashion conscience in biblical times) he was ready to tread the boards once more.

Having dropped the star performer at his classroom I had planned on going for a walk. But alarmed by the number of people already in the queue to get into the theatre of dreams (the school hall) I decided to join them in a hope of getting some kind of seat. My son had prepped me with a prime position to make sure I’d have a good view of all his sheep moves. My persistence paid off and I made a satisfactory row three.

It’s hard to describe the emotion of watching my son dance, sing, smile and laugh in the school Christmas production. My mind wandered back 6 years to when I first met him – I liked him right away. I thought about how he was poorly when he was first born and kissing him in the neo-natal unit. I thought about how cold it was that Christmas and how he’d only sleep on my chest. And now that little hot water bottle was a big little boy dancing his little heart out and I couldn’t be more proud of him.

The show ended and we were allowed to take photos of our children – a scrum of parents was worth negotiating. I didn’t want to take any photos but I did want to tell my son how good he was. My excitement got the better of me and I kept telling parents I only half know that maybe we should pull our kids out of school so they can fully focus on their acting careers.  They smiled politely but I don’t think I had many takers.

I pushed my son dressed as a sheep home on the back of my bike as he relived the show blow-by-blow, telling me everything that had gone wrong. He then told me that really this show was just a warm up and the real challenge was next week…the grandparent’s performance.

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