Tonight was Natalie’s very 1st dress rehearsal. Tomorrow night she goes on stage as a mouse, in a 3-minute appearance in “The Chronicles of Narnia”. She has been counting down the days. Excitement has been oozing out of her! And yet tonight….we walked down the corridor where all the cast members have their chairs & belongings……costumed people were walking to and fro…..people with all types of make-up and wigs….hello’s…..parts being rehearsed…..sewing machine busy at work on costumes….and more. I saw Natalie’s eyes growing and growing and growing with fear. Her left hand clasped tight to my right hand. At one point I thought a waterfall of tears would come flowing down her face and she’d bury her head in my leg. But she didn’t. She sure is a brave little girl.
The sight of sweet Shaylee, her friend from last year’s preschool class, was our God-send. In the midst of all the frenzy, Shaylee was radiant and calm, with her ever-flowing joy pouring out of her smiley face. Shaylee was dressed up in a super cute, all-white rabbit costume, her braided hair just as Natalie remembered it from last year. They sat together on a couch waiting for their turn for make-up, Natalie’s body scrunched up as close as she possibly could get to Shaylee for comfort. It was adorable. I was so thankful for Shaylee in that moment. She was our gift of comfort tonight.
Tonight was the very 1st time Natalie has ever had make-up applied to her face. When Abigail came in and asked who of the 7 pre-schoolers would like to go first, Natalie’s hand shot right up! She was so so so excited! And what a precious moment it was when she stepped foot in the bathroom to see herself in the mirror. Her cute black nose and whiskers. She stared at herself with pure delight. Though the picture is totally blurry, it captures that moment just right- that magical moment of seeing make-up on her face.
So off they went to rehearse…..Natalie skipped across the stage just as she was supposed to. She swayed with the Christmas present in hand, did her little jump, swayed…..knelt down and held up her hands as tiny paws under her chin. A sweet little mouse, my Natalie.
And yet tonight all she could say when she was getting tucked into bed was “Mama, I’m scared. I’m scared. I’m really scared.” As I tried to explore all the potential reasons she was scared…..the audience, the lights, the number of people walking around in the cast, all the costumes, the make-up, the wigs….she couldn’t pinpoint it to anything. All she could say was that she was scared.
I assured her that she does not need to be in the show. If she feels scared, she doesn’t need to do it. “But mama, I do want to be in the show. I’m just scared.”
I hugged her extra tight tonight as I lay next to her, caressing her soft cheek.
It sure does take a lot of bravery for a 4-year old to go up on stage. I’m very proud of my Natalie-mouse.