Today's the day Nathaniel is tested for grade placement for public school. I'm tempted to be afraid, nervous, but I'm not going to be. Something happened yesterday which gave me a glimpse of my boy's bravery.
Our local library is a wonderful place; everything you read about in Tell Me Some More (one of my favorite children's books), and then some. There are all kinds of activities for children during the summer. Last week they brought in a magician, whom the boys went to see and loved. Yesterday was a juggler, Paul Farris. I went with the kids this time, and we took the two cousins. Next week will be a ventriloquist!
Mr. Farris was a superb showman, making us laugh out loud the entire time. Okay, making ME laugh - I'm an easy mark. He told the story of his drowning as a child, being brought back to life four times then pronounced dead. The coroner came in and found him breathing. His story was fascinating and hopeful. He challenged the children, but mostly the parents, to never give up.
Near the end of his act he chose Nathaniel for an act of bravery (he'd chosen children for several different things prior). Than was as nonchalant as a kid could be, taking everything in stride. Farris asked Than to blow up one of three balloons and had us laughing while it happened, making fun of Than the whole time. My boy rolled with it. Then he had Than hold the balloons out at arms' length and tucked one between his thighs. At this point Farris pulls out a whip and announces that he's going to use it to pop all of the balloons. Than just shrugs his shoulders and grins. He was calm even after Farris got out the blindfold and covered my boy's eyes, so he wouldn't flinch and get hurt.
Once, then twice, Farris cracks his whip, a terrific sound if you've never heard one. As he's explaining to Than and the audience what his procedure is, he disassembles the whip handle, revealing a pointy stick, leaving the whip to operate in his other hand. He moves in close to Than, talking to him the whole time, then pops the balloon with the stick at the exact moment he cracks the whip with his other hand. I would have been terrified. Than just stood quietly the entire time.
Again Mr. Farris pops a balloon, leaving only the balloon between Than's legs. At this point Farris asks if there's anything Than wants to protect and Than just grins again. I'm waiting for the balloon to get wet. Farris pops the third balloon and we all applaud! I can't tell you how surprised I was that my youngest child, the one prone to fright, was so valiant.
I think today has the potential to be very scary for him. I also think he has what it takes to test well. And I don't think that either of us will wet our pants or cry.
Until I write again ...