They did an amazing job. Face painting, jugglers, lots of clowns, including Ronald McDonald doing a magic show. The kids sat on the floor in front of the stage and when he asked for a volunteer, Riley's hand shot up along with all the others.
He picked her.
There was a moment when he asked her to catch a scarf, and he kept throwing it toward her and pulling it away as she grabbed for it.
My stomach braced itself.
She didn't cry.
There was a moment, when he asked her to climb into a tiny box, and she looked at me, worried. I tried to give her an assuring look, "He's kidding," I mouthed, not sure she could read my lips. She got through it.
Then she started doing the "pee-pee" dance, right up there on stage.
"Damn!" I thought.
She hadn't gone potty since 7AM, and it was now 3PM.
Kids were loud, screaming, laughing, clapping. Riley was holding her own.
For the grand finale, Ronald asked Riley to push a button on the magic box, but before she could he push it, he said, "Where are your parents?"
She pointed to us and he said,jokingly, "Tell them good-bye."
THEN, as if that wasn't enough, he warned everyone, "Cover your ears!" But when Riley tried to cover hers, he said, "No, not you, you have to push the button!"
SERIOUSLY, I thought we were done.
In front of 500 people.
On stage, with possibly wet pants.
I held my breath. HT told me later he was thinking, "Look clown, your little magic show is about to blow up in your face."
There was a pause.
And then, our girl, pushed the button, (after which she quickly covered her ears).
There was an explosion and a slew of little Ronald McDonald frisbees came piling out of the box.
Riley created all the frisbees! Riley did magic!
She came down from the stage visibly overwhelmed, and we took some deep breaths. In a few minutes she was fine. It took me a bit longer.
Later, my literal Riley told us she was afraid Ronald McDonald was going to shrink her down to fit into the little box, and she was scared she might not get back to us. She went to bed last night happy, proud and exhausted.
DESPITE HER FEAR, SHE KEPT IT TOGETHER!
First sled riding, now this!
It was a magical weekend and we're celebrating every victory.
*BTW, That's Seth's little head in the right hand corner of the photo, the guy with the balloon. It didn't even occur to me to check in with him at the time, to see if he was worried about his sister up there on stage. Sweet boy, I love you and I promise we'll pay for your therapy if you need it.