I think I was more nervous this morning than I used to be when I would get up on stage and sing in front of a couple thousand people. But you? You were cool as a cucumber.
We practiced for weeks. You told me how you didn't want to look at all the people sitting in the pews because it would make you nervous. You asked me if I would be watching. Would dad be there too? Every day you asked me if today was the day you had to do your reading in church, and breathed a sigh of relief when I said, "No." Secretly I was just as nervous as you were. After all, you had just started to learn how to read and now you were going to be reading in front of the whole school. And with such big, grown up words! It was a big step.
You read, read, and reread your part, making sure you got it absolutely perfectly. Every time you read it your confidence grew. And yesterday when I asked you to read it for me just one more time you said, "Mom, I have it memorized. I don't even need my paper anymore." And then you showed me just how well you knew it. Still, I was a little nervous for you.
This morning we put on your dress shirt and pants and you begged me to wear your tie. After I convinced you that the tie was a little too short, and also could get lost at school, you finally agreed to leave it at home. We fixed your hair and gussied you up. And you were ready.
When I walked into church and sat down you saw me right away. You smiled your angelic smile and waved. My heart melted a bit. And then my stomach did a flip flop. I knew you were prepared but I was still nervous.
You see, I know how hard you are on yourself. You always want to be perfect. Even when I told you earlier that if you make a mistake it is no big deal you said, "Oh, I won't make a mistake!" You put a lot of pressure on yourself for such a little guy.
My butterflies reached a peak when you walked up to the podium with your paper and stepped up to the microphone. You spoke clearly and slowly and looked up at the congregation when you were done. You did just as well as you knew you would.
You walked back to your pew and took your seat. And when you turned around to catch my eye I saw how proud you were. I gave you a little wink and a thumbs up and you beamed. And I was so happy for you.
Joey, you are growing up right before my eyes. Today it is the reading for the 1st graders' mass and tomorrow it will be your graduation. It is all going too fast. Please try and slow it down. Just a little?
I am so proud of you, my brave, confident, smart, funny, and kind little man. Congratulations!