Tonight I was sitting in a jam-packed, stuffy auditorium at Grant's school watching him perform in the school's spring musical, Disney's Jungle Book. My baby was an elephant. I could see him scanning the crowd looking for me. He would look in my direction and I would give him an excited wave, but it seemed like he missed me every time.
I felt like one of those scuba divers who was inadvertently left behind after a deep sea diving excursion, and the helicopters were back hours later searching for me but their searchlights criss-crossed right over my head without ever spotting me among the black waves.
Maybe that's a little melodramatic.
Anyway finally Grant's spotlight zeroed in on my frantic waving. For a moment he looked straight at me and sang just for me, his Mama Gao. That is his nickname for me lately. Mama Gao. I had a huge grin on my face, so happy to be serenaded by my boy, my elephant, my Baby Gao. So happy that God saw fit to let me give birth to this special kid and bring him this far, to this play, to this night, to this music-filled jungle.
After the show on our way to the car Grant told me how some kid had thrown Grant's costume into "a thing that was really big" and he couldn't reach it. But he said, "Jameson, he's such a good friend, he crawled in there and saved my trunk for me."
Now that, friends, is an act of kindness you just don't see every day.
We got to the car and I opened the door for Grant and as he got in he said, "Oh yeah, and I was sooo happy to see you in the crowd! When you looked at me, that made me so happy. I wanted to go, 'Look, there's my Mama Gao!' But I couldn't because I was on stage. But I wanted to. Thank you so much for coming. When I saw you in the audience, it just made my day."
With that, he slammed his door shut and continued to chatter on to Audrey about the madness in the dressing room after the show.
I needed to get in the driver's seat but for a second I had to stand outside the car, softly biting my knuckle and crying.
Somehow through my tears I noticed the ceiling of the deck of the house that was right next to us. It's painted in three colors - blue, yellow and green. I thought how thoughtful it was of them to paint the ceiling of the deck. Most people would just leave the deck ceiling as it was, or stain the wood perhaps, but this family painted their deck ceiling and it was so beautiful.
It made me think how thoughtful it was of God to let me have that moment tonight with my Baby Gao, where he was singing to me and I was grinning back at him from the audience. Tonight could have been just any other Thursday evening. We could have done homework and had spaghetti for dinner and then taken the dog for a walk. He could have left tonight plain and drab, or maybe just stained it for me. But tonight God gave Grant and me a moment we will never forget.
He painted tonight the most beautiful shade of love and joy for me.
And it was so beautiful.