Last weekend my little Ashley knocked the proverbial “ball out of the park.” We were so proud.

Ashley is my 11-year-old… my youngest… the craziest of the three! Ashley has no inhibitions at all (yes… scary at times). But that made her perfect for the lead role of this year’s annual Christmas program at our church. The role usually goes to an adult, but the director thought Ashley would be perfect.

She played a talk show host who interviewed different missionary kids from around the world. She hammed it up big time.

Lori and I caught glimpses of her at practices and practiced lines with her… but it was hard to know how she’d do in front of a big audience. Ashley had never done anything like this at all. She shows no fear in daily life (she regularly goes to the mall wearing striped kneehigh socks, patterned soccer shorts and a spotted shirt)… but I didn’t know what standing in front of 1,000 people would do to her.

It didn’t even phase her.

My dad and mom (her “Papa and Nana”) came out to see her, along with the whole family. Ashley did remarkable. I don’t think she was nervous at all. It was really amazing. Then she had a short little solo singing… she did beautiful. My wife was so happy she was in tears.

It was a great moment.

One of the funniest moments was getting her costume together in the weeks prior. You have to understand Ashley. In daily life Ashley wears oversized soccer shorts and a ragged t-shirt. It’s hard to get her to dress up. If you mention the word “dress” … she shudders. She gives new meaning to the word “tomboy.” I don’t think she thought that one through when she happily accepted this role. Because about one month into practice she learned that she would be dressing up in pantsuit or blazer. She almost popped a capillary!

After much wrestling, we found a little dressy red jacket and nice pair of dress slacks. She wasn’t happy. I had to put the smack down and just told her to quit her whining and tough it out!

Funny… she wasn’t worried about the lines, the audience… any of that. She just didn’t want to “dress up.”  🙂

The end result? She was amazing!

Pretty good for a little squirt! Daddy was really proud.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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