Jay was 3, I was pregnant with Kendall, and I was in the middle of our spring musical production at school. It was getting close to opening night, which meant late night rehearsals and sometimes the presence of my little shadow, Jay.
Jay would beg to go to rehearsal. He was fascinated by the ins and outs of the stage, and the students spoiled him rotten. But most of all, Jay LOVED the sound booth. He would spend entire rehearsals back there with two of our best students who became experts in lighting and sound.
After one of our toughest rehearsals, the girls came out of the booth with Jay chuckling about his vast imagination. He had been telling them about a panty snatcher vacuum that would suck your underwear up from wherever it was hiding. I began to get hot and my face was flushed. These girls did not understand my reaction because I’m not one who embarrasses easily. In fact, they had heard me tell on myself and on Jay in numerous anecdotal stories I told them in class. But this one got me and this is why.
Andy and I used to spend a lot of weekends with Mom and Dad because he was always playing in golf tournaments, and Jay and I enjoyed hanging out with Nana and Granddaddy. Well after one of these weekends, I had come to Mom and Dad’s to pick Jay up after school and Mom met me in the kitchen with a pair of thong underwear dangling off the end of her finger. I was confused. She said, “Something was clogging up my vacuum after I cleaned the basement and I found these entangled inside. I know they’re not mine, so I’m assuming they are yours! I’m not going to ask!” Oh geez!! Married and pregnant with my second child and here I was lowering my chin in embarrassment in front of my mom. Of course my mom thought it was hysterical! She could still get me! But who knew the worst was yet to come.
One of Jay’s trickiest traits is making himself invisible in adult conversation so he can absorb forbidden information. This was one situation these skills were in practice. He took in every detail and then took the story to rehearsal with him almost a week later. This would be fascinating material to share while working the lights.
I share this story mostly because it’s funny but I guess there are lessons to learn. No matter how confident you think you are in yourself, humility is forever present to take you down a notch. Also, little ears are forever present and vigil. Something we must always keep in mind as adults.