Mothers are frequently the unheralded heroines of rescuing their kids during their time of need. They're the ones who rush to school whenever the kids forget their lunch. They're the ones administering to those cuts and scrapes with bandages, sealed with a kiss. And when it comes to those kid productions, they're the ones who cheer their brood on and sometimes rush to the stage above and beyond the call of duty.
That was the case in Georgia recently, when 10-year-old Makayla Ferrell took her turn to the stage during her school's talent show. She was slated to perform Andra Day's motivational piece "Rise Up," but partly into the song, she cracked.
Meltdown, thought mother Shaye Washington, who didn't want her daughter to fall to pieces in front of her peers. Like any supportive mom, Washington tried to get her daughter's mind off the stage fright that was playing havoc with her voice and memory of the lyrics. So she picked up where Makayla left off, by singing the next line:
"I'll rise unafraid."
Maybe it was the intrinsic power in that phrase that got Makayla back on track, or maybe it was simply a critical cue to resume singing the rest of the song. She managed to finish it without any further incidents.
Ordinarily, that would have been it and Makayla probably would have been happy enough to complete the song and get off the stage after nerves briefly got the better of her. But it turns out that a woman in the audience, Rhonda Whitney, captured the moment on digital video and posted it on YouTube where it went viral. To date it's gone past the seven-million mark in terms of viewers.
At my daughter's talent show last night, this young lady got scared and stopped singing. What her mom (Shaye Washington) did, had me in tears and i cry every time i watch it. <3 To the mom and daughter in this video: thank you for showing us all something so beautiful, and inspirational. In my eyes you won the talent show <3 #riseup For licensing, please contact firstname.lastname@example.orgPosted by Rhonda Whitney on Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Those who've chimed in with comments declared that Washington should be bestowed the title of Mother of the Year, Whitney included, while others commended Makayla for sticking it out to the end. But as far as Washington is concerned, she only did what a good mother would do: Stick up for her child through thick or thin, even if all it took was a three-word line from a song.
But that phrase apparently had a great deal of deep significance for Washington.
"It means a lot. It means perseverance," she said. "Before I moved to Colorado ... that was one of the songs that helped me push on."