Friday night found Zane, Larry, and I sitting in the third row, center, of my niece Courtney's school production of The Wizard of Oz. She's a senior, and we do try to show our support for family members, on the soccer field as well as the theater. Zane was told that he could bring a book, but he left it in the car and brought one of his small toys with him.
Zane was not excited about having to sit still for hours, and made his feelings known. Once the show started, however, Zane was interested. Well, as interested as an eight year old boy can be in Kansas farm life, some girl singing about rainbows, and various stage techniques.
"Why are they moving that house around and around?" Zane wanted to know. "What is that smoke over there?"
"Shhhh," I said. We'd discussed proper behavior for the theater earlier, but it was obvious that my son's natural curiosity would take center stage. He wanted to know when Courtney was going to be on stage, he wanted to know how the Wicked Witch was throwing fire, etc. All great questions, but not best answered during the production.
Finally, Zane got quiet in the darkness of the theater. Zane quiet usually means he's up to shenanigans. I glanced over to find him playing with something in his pocket. I thought that it was his toy. I had told him not to play with it during the show. I leaned over, holding out my hand.
"Give it to me," I said firmly. Zane pulled his hand out of his pocket, and he handed "it" to me. Yep. What he handed me was not a toy. "It" turned out to be a huge booger. Sitting there, sticky on my palm.
I don't have any acting experience. I get terrible stage fright. But I did a fair job of acting as though everything. Was. Just. Fine. If anyone had been looking, they would have seen a calm woman lean over to grab a tissue out of her purse and rub her hand quietly.
But in my head I was screaming "EWWWWWWW!!!!!" and wanting a sink and a gallon of soap. I don't remember much about the show after that. Parenting is all about moments like this. This is what separates the beginners from the pros. It's easy to be a parent when the kids are all cute and well behaved. It's another thing entirely to have your child hand you a booger in the middle of a dark high school theater.
I think I won that round.