Wednesday, June 09, 2010

A Case of Mom Calling the Kiddo Whack? (Part 1)

No one reads this here blaaawg anymore, right? So what the hay. I'll use it and abuse it to let go of a little steam, I'll (potentially) feel better, and no one will be the wiser. Sounds like a win/win situation to me! Cool. On we go!

So since about March, I think, Sweetie has been taking weekly "performance" classes in a town about a half hour away. We signed her up for, essentially, musical theater class - level 1. What that actually turned out to be was a weekly hour long class consisting of a half hour of singing lesson and a half hour of dance lesson. Whatever. Not exactly acting, but the stepping stones of such nonetheless. She seemed to really enjoy it and I was happy to take her for the fun, learning, and socialization.

The whole class culminated in her class having a spot in the performance school's year end show. Basically, a dance recital show at which her particular class would have a number where they danced and sang at the same time (and another number where they only sung while a more advanced level of the group both sang and danced.)

This final show was this past Saturday. 15 members of our family (including Hubby and I) - and one house guest of my parents' (someone we know from church) - came to support our little Sweetie in her very-first-ever-recital-on-the-very-same-stage-her-cousins-have-danced-on-in-their-recitals-OMG-how-very-exciting!!!! She got to wear a costume! And makeup! And maybe people would give her flowers! This was the greatest!!!!

I dropped Sweetie off in the designated area for the performers, then went with Hubby to meet the rest of our large group. I wished Sweetie luck as I left her (to tell her to "break a leg" would have been too confusing to her, causing too much explanation and it just wasn't worth it.) And, knowing her tendencies from past school concerts to be all-consuming worried upon first getting on stage until she spots a familiar face in the crowd, I told her "don't look for us in the audience." Just do her thing and don't worry about that.

"Okay, Mommy!" as she skipped happily away into the general buzz of back stage chaos.

As the whole famn damily sat down in our seats, my mom asked if I told Sweetie to not look for us (Ha! See - we all know the ways of one little Sweetie).

"Yes, but I don't know how well it actually sank into her head (that is - who knows if she really heard me or not.)

Time would tell...

The show started. It was pretty much your typical dance recital, except with the older teenagers doing some truly impressive theatrical dance numbers unlike anything I'd ever seen in recitals before. Sweetie's group was not in the first half of the show.

Intermission. Second half. Here comes Sweetie's group!

Uh. She was singing, as she was supposed to be. But she was looking to the side. A lot. And not particularly interested in her singing. Much more interested in continuing her intense stares off to the side.

I thought at first that the bright lights bothered her. I instantly felt really bad/guilty for not warning her of these really bright lights. Poor Sweetie.

Then after a bit came her group's singing/dancing number. It was great!.. Well, you know. As great as a bunch of 7 and 8 year old girls can be who haven't exactly made it their life's work to master the detailed nuances of each little dance step or each precise note. And the start of it was confusing/off because the band's playing sounded nowhere near like the notes of the song they were to sing. But still, it was cute...

...until the end of that number. I knew it was a tricky ending. Three rounds of the chorus before the forth time around saw a bit of a change to the words. I helped Sweetie practice this quite a bit, so she'd get used to what to sing, for how long, before the words changed a bit. She got to be really good at it and truly knew her stuff. She was all set.

Too bad her 5 performance mates were not so wonderfully aware of how it all wrapped up. And so, unfortunately for Sweetie, majority ruled and the lyric change-up - and accompanying dance steps, came about at the end of the third chorus repeat. Not the forth. Uh oh.

Yes, I told Sweetie that no matter what happened, "just keep swimming." I told her a lot. Over and over. That is, there is no way she did not have this concept firmly implanted in her brain. However, Sweetie IS Sweetie, after all. And Sweetie was none too happy - AT ALL - about this mix up. At all.

As the other girls in her group finished as close to the proper way they had practiced to end, Sweetie threw her arms out to her sides in exasperation. The other girls left the stage, as they were supposed to. Sweetie stood in disbelief. She stood firm, looking/pouting off stage to, presumably, one of her teachers or whatever other adult was nearby. Whomever it was backstage, finally convinced Sweetie to get off the stage. Sweetie started to cry. My heart - as it was already breaking from the disappointment I knew Sweetie must be feeling ("they didn't do it right! They did the change the third time around, not the fourth!") - finally broke clean in half.

I instinctively felt like I should go to Sweetie to comfort her. But my family stopped me. They said the teachers would take care of her. I shouldn't go anywhere.

I stayed, but I really could not enjoy the rest of the show. A few acts were good enough to catch my attention and almost turn my spirits around, but the looooooonnnnnnnnggggggg breaks between, what?, the last 3 or 4 songs ("What in the world are they doing back there! This is absolutely ridiculous!") returned my mood to just as sour - if not moreso - as it was after Sweetie's breakdown. :(

Oh well. Finally, FINALLY, the end of the show came. But, of course, it's never quite the end until the Director says it's the end, gosh darn it! Every last performer from every last class had to come on stage for final applauds. Flowers had to be distributed. Final dances of graduating dancers had to be danced. Thank you's said (all without mikes on the speakers mind you.) It was flippin' awesome. Heh.

But... back to all the performers on stage while all this flower giving, speech making, final dance dancing was going on...

There was Sweetie, stage left with her dance crew, yo, desperately - and I do mean desperately - absolutely scouring the audience for our family (or probably, in her mind, just me and her Daddy. Whatever.) Both hands covering her forehead, keeping the bright lights as much out of her eyes as possible, not paying a lick of attention to anything else going on onstage. Just. Searching.

This was a good 10 or 15 minutes, people. Maybe longer???

Trouble was. Sweetie was almost constantly looking off to the left side seats. Our family was in the center.

Remember - we were a group of 16. We took up almost an entire row, and then some. And ALL of us saw Sweetie's, sad, pitiful, So Sad, "no one is here for me at all!," so so pitifully sad searching. Finally standing up at the end up it all in sad, pitiful, pouty defeat. Head hanging low. Her arms out wide to the side again, presumably telling one of her classmates that she just can't find her family ANYWHERE!

And nearly all 16 of us - well, let's say at least half of us - were crazily waving our hands every few seconds this whole time so that Sweetie would actually see us. Making damn FOOLS of ourselves - right there in the middle of the auditorium as so many things we should have been paying attention to were happening on stage. Totally not listening. Totally not watching respectfully. Only waving frantically just so poor, sad, pitiful little Sweetie would notice us! What the heck?!!!

Phew! I am working myself up here again, people! It's been, what?, Four days now and I still can't let this go! And I haven't even gotten to the "good" (ha!) part yet!

(to be continued...)

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