Friday, February 22, 2008


Friday has always been the best day of the week, but when you've just been sprung from the prison of a lengthy volunteer commitment, it's sublime. I've been buzzing around like a happy and relaxed bee all day now that the middle school talent show is one for the books.

I can't say that the show went off without a hitch, but I can say that it began, it ended, and that I never have to do it again. Britney, Jamie Lynn, and the other dancing girls all participated; once their parents accepted that the same rules applied to their girls as to the other 27 acts in the show, the girls magically appeared at dress rehearsal and were all crowd pleasers in the show. We had a bit of a problem with a rather frightening dad who couldn't be convinced that the piano all the other kids were using was good enough for his son; he showed up with an electric keyboard the size and weight of a rock-filled coffin and the "family" sound system. We finally gave in on the keyboard -- the dancing girls had taken their toll on our psyches, although not as much as hauling that damn thing around took on our rotator cuffs -- but the dad consented to use the school sound system after our sound guy (who had the distinct persuasive advantage of being male) convinced the father that we little women and our substandard microphones could do his son justice.

And though dealing with some of the parents was a tremendous pain in the ass, dealing with some of the children helped me to understand why there are those who claim they love to work with teenagers. (Let me be clear: I am not yet a convert. I just understand the point of view a little better.)

For every overly polished, overly choreographed, overly indulged dance duo, there was a sweet young thing with pitch problems who was just thrilled to get to sing in front of her grandparents.

For every band infected with a terminal case of too-cool-for-school, there was another that ended their set looking at each other in disbelief as dozens of girls -- many of them fully grown -- stood up and cheered.

For every child who acted like he could teach us a thing or two, there was one whose eyes filled with tears when his guitar string broke right before he was to go one.

And for every child whose hands and voice were trembling as he or she started to perform, there was a slightly more confident young person standing there when the curtain closed.

All in all it's been a lovely week ... and I couldn't be happier that it's over.


Janie said...

Love your descriptions of the kids. Awesome post.

HRH said...

Whew, I am tired just thinking about it. I am glad it is over for you...naptime?

Betsy said...

Absolutely! Plus I (inadvertently) slept 12 hours last night.

Ree said...

How wonderful! And beautifully worded too.