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The priceless moments our kids provide us

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POSTED December 23, 2008 1:23 a.m.
Many memories are worth savoring.
For me, I’ve always been more inclined to go with the ability to recall, relying instead on the thought process to recapture those moments rather than the use of videotapes or DVDs.
But that speaks for the world in which we live in today. Most people own video cameras and more of us have cell phones with cameras.
Now, I still enjoy taking photos to capture those special occasions. But I try not to go overboard.
Last Thursday evening was one of those special moments.
My son, Josh, had a role in the Christmas pageant performed by his eighth-grade class.
This faith-based school in Stockton had basically been doing the same holiday play for years. And while he’s been attending St. Luke’s since the first-grade, Josh, because of my work schedule back then, didn’t participate in this pageant until he was a third-grade student.
Each class along with Bells Choir perform Christmas songs. But the event is really saved for the eighth-grade class.
The roles of Mary and Joseph often go to the exemplary girl and boy in the class. An actual baby is used to play Jesus.
Many of the girls are put in the role of angels while the boys enjoy playing shepherds, inn keepers, and the three wise men.
I always considered the latter as plum roles. In fact, I had always hoped that Josh would try out for a magi. Included in the song “We Three Kings” and a solo for each of the three youngsters.
My son enjoys singing, particularly karaoke at the church bazaar and along with the videogame, Guitar Hero. He also performed with the youth choir years earlier.
But singing in front of 800 people? I think that’s a tough act.
Josh, meanwhile, not only landed a wise men role but also that of choice solo, “myrrh.”
I was an extremely proud parent. The excitement ranked up there with witnessing my son drop down a perfect sacrifice bunt during a crucial youth baseball game or delivering on a three-point basket in CYO hoops.
I was also a nervous dad. But so were the other parents in the class. We had waited for this moment, with some of us arriving at the church some three hours early just to reserve choice seats for the pageant.
As it turned out, the kids, too, were nervous. They weren’t so much during the final rehearsal, according to my son.
But performing in front of the school compared to that of a standing room only place played on the nerves of these youngsters.
Josh said he and his classmates were quite aware that their performance was being filmed for the DVD made available to parents for $25, thus, accounting for some of the anxiety.
I seriously thought about picking up a copy. But then I gave it a second thought.
You see, I want to remember Josh’s Christmas pageant exactly the way I saw it.
In my mind, I want to remember their nervous faces.
I want to recall those noticeable glitches in their performance.
I want to remember the feeling of anticipation knowing that your kid is up next and, as a parent, you’re probably just as nervous.
Mostly, I want to remember the joy and relief from my son and his classmates in the aftermath of the play.
They celebrated.
They did so by basking in the moment, exchanging hugs, high fives, and posing in front of the camera for group photos.
For those are the memories I’ve since replayed a dozen times in my mind.
Those moments are priceless.
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