Extraordinary courage and a missing Teddy Bear
This week I attended a second grade musical at a local elementary school. That was the third time I had seen that same musical because one of this week’s performers was my third grandson, and his two older brothers were in the same performance each of the last two years. In that performance I saw a degree of courage I have not seen in a long time. That is the story I want to share today – about extraordinary courage and a missing Teddy Bear.
One of the numbers in that second grade musical featured each child (there were about 40 of them) singing and dancing a song about a missing Teddy Bear. If I understand the plot right (I should after three years in a row) the smallest of the three bears was missing and everyone was concerned about him (not to worry, the missing bear was found shortly after the song). In the musical number about longing for a missing bear, each child held a small Teddy Bear. Clearly, every child had been asked to bring a bear to the performance, as all the bears were different. But there was one girl who was without a bear. She had probably forgotten to bring hers from home that night. She was distraught, crying almost uncontrollably. The shame of the situation was almost too much for her to take. Almost.
I am sure if she had not felt the responsibility to proceed with the music and choreography she would have crumpled to the floor, but she did not. She performed that song, and in doing so she showed the greatest courage I have seen in a long time. With each measure of the song about longing for a missing bear, she performed through her tears. As the other children lifted their bears, spun them around, cuddled, and longingly stroked them to the music, so also did she. Her face reddened and splotchy, through flowing tears and sobs, she lifted her imaginary bear up right on beat, she spun her missing bear around in perfect synchrony with the others, and as the others stroked and cuddled their real bears, she sobbed while stroking and cuddling the air between her hands. I wanted to sob too.
If this is a metaphor for something in your own life, that is good. For me it was just a great moment about the human spirit of a coming generation that I wanted to share.