This past weekend I experienced one of those moments as a parent when I felt so completely and utterly proud of my child. Last Thursday and Friday I watched Jacob perform the role of Romeo in his school’s Shakespeare play.
After months of rehearsals and memorizing lines, it was indeed a pleasure to see the fruition of all the hard work. Jacob really wanted the part of Romeo when he auditioned for it. In fact, his teacher later told Brad that he wrote on his card (she had the students tell her what parts they were interested in), “Romeo—Mrs. Carson, I know I can do this!”
I was struck by how nervous I was for him and the rest of the cast. The Thursday performance was for the school so I knew he wanted to do well in front of his fellow schoolmates. He may have missed a line or two, but I certainly couldn’t tell. Friday’s performance was for parents, the public, etc… and was even more moving as the lighting was more powerful since it was dark outside. What I wasn’t prepared for was how moved I felt watching my child perform this role in light of the storyline of Romeo and Juliet.
When Shakespeare wrote this play, it was quite possible that the Romeo he was imagining wasn’t all that much older than my Jacob. There is a scene when Romeo and Juliet visit the friar to be married in secret. Seeing Jacob kneel next to his co-star (the co-star was also wearing a veil), struck me vividly. This could be Jacob for real in the next ten years! On top of that, watching Romeo kill himself for his love also shook me. Lord willing, this will never be a part of my story, but I could feel the pain of the Capulets and Montagues as they witnessed the deaths of their beloved children. Shakespeare certainly understood the meaning of the word, “tragedy.”
On a lighter note, Jacob also got to have his grandparents present for his performance along with his youth pastor and a few members of his youth group. I think he felt the sense of accomplishment that comes when you have worked hard at something, and now get to reap the benefits. I certainly felt the parental pride flowing through my veins!