Friday, May 30, 2008

End of The Road(s)

Anansi the Trickster Spider closes on Sunday.

Scarlett plays a weasel in this production. She was well-cast! Looks quite weasely, on stage, thinks the Matron. It is a small role, but Scarlett also understudies both female leads.

Twice--once during rehearsals and the day the show opened -- the Matron made this inquiry: "Scarlett? Do you know the lines for Rebecca and Carmen?"

Twice, the Matron was met with this: "Mom!"

The Matronly Stage Mother policy is to Leave The Entire Thing Alone, so that is just what she did.

Yesterday, SteppingStone Theatre called at 12:30 to let the Matron know that the girl who played Carmen was going home sick. Scarlett would be on stage in half an hour! The role of Carmen requires lots and lots of lines, constant stage presence and a hysterical song/dance solo that is a highlight of the show.

Now, the Matron could not recall one single moment her daughter put into practicing that role.

She immediately called John to inform him of the situation: "Omigod that child is going to be Carmen. Do you want to go to the theater and watch?"

John: "NO! I can't bear it!"

So the Matron dropped out of her busy day and scuttled over to SteppingStone theater where she watched her daughter do a damn fine job! She was shocked! Although Scarlett reported that she made many mistakes, from an audience perspective, the performance looked flawless.

The song and dance? Terrific! Where did the child learn that stuff? The hand motions, the legwork!? The Matron held her breath during Carmen's longer speeches, wherein the character summarizes the play's main dramas. Scarlett nailed it! The Matron has new respect for her daughter, who is either truly a pro or very damn quick on her feet. Either will serve her well.

Tonight, the entire female half of the cast is spending the night--here! Guess what nine-year old made flyers and arrangements, set up the entire thing? The Matron understands that her little apple did not fall far from the organized, and community-minded tree.

But the biggest end of the road? Today is Stryker's sixth grade graduation ceremony.

Her brainy boy? He requested a thin red tie and black top hat to wear at the event. Today, he left in black jeans, a black t-shirt and the hat/tie stuffed in his backpack.

The Matron plans to weep through the entire event. Indeed, she is so certain of this, that she warned her entire family so they could start being embarrassed, early.

She is so proud of her oldest, who went through seven successful years at that school without a single trip to the Principal's office. Indeed, he was a patrol guard, good citizen and gifted student.

Good-bye, darling elementary boy! Hello, junior high school.

Alas, the Matron recently reread Anne Lamott's Operating Instructions, in which she makes wry comment about junior high school as being a worse peril to her child than say, death.

That has the Matron worried!


Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

Wow. So much going on.

I am so impressed with your gifted girl - quick on her feet and talented.

And your son too. We always emphasize how important the good citizen piece is at school. It sometimes gets lost in the shuffle.

(I try not to think of my jr high years. I might freeze up in fear, and worry too much for my kids.)

Have a great weekend.

JessTrev said...

Oh, I heart Anne Lamott - and must also say, as a former jr high teacher...that I love those young adult slash children. Some of them -- as with the adult population -- are simply horrid and furthermore lack any kind of filter due to their age. So the terror is real. But the vast majority are in this magical shifting world much like in the Bridge to Terabithia. From the sounds of your talented (and already quirky - top hat!) children, you have no worries. Hopefully he'll find similarly enchanting child-adults to hang around and only have minor brushes with the evil that lurks in junior high cliques. Which will in and of itself probably thrill him.

Suburban Correspondent said...

She may not have practiced, but apparently she was paying attention at all those rehearsals. She's probably a born mimic.

Operating Instructions...I don't know if I've read that one...

Anonymous said...

WONDERFUL Matron. Your pride is justified on all counts :)

Anonymous said...

Yay! I made it into your blog!!!!! It was me who called you! She was such a pro about it. The other kids were in awe of her. It was so cute how nervous she was. She even let me comb her hair! Oh, and I'll have you know that she practiced every day while backstage. Don't let her fool you. She mouths along with the whole play and does the dance moves while she's back there waiting to come on. And the reason why you didn't see any mistakes was because the other kids flawlessly picked up the few lines that she dropped. An understudy performance really brings a cast together. It was a great day for all of them.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

My kids sailed through elementary school and they sailed through middle school as well. He'll be fine.

Congrats to Scarlett on an acting job well done.

Anonymous said...

You know they do the unpracticed thing just to make us parents extra nervous?
She's a cool customer - Miss Scarlett!

If only they did come with 'destructions'

Have a great weekend

Mrs. G. said...

Congrats on so many levels. If It makes you feel any better, I thought the toddler years were way more difficult than jr. high.

Anonymous said...

MM - I cried from the time I got out of the car, all through Shortman's 5th grade graduation. I will probably flood the area during High School graduation ceremonies.

And congratulations to Scarlett!

Bonnie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bonnie said...

MM - last week was the Dudes 5th grade graduation. I did not shed a tear. However - yesterday was his last day of elementary school and the last time I will ever walk him to school in the morning. (also the last time both children will attend the same school until he is a senior in HS!).

I was a mess! And am still tearing up writing this.

Must blog about this soon. I have been so busy!

I am reading Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys, and am terrified about JHS. The book is giving me an idea of what to expect so we can try to arm him against what the authors term "the culture of cruelty" there. I recommend it.

Jenn - I like your optimism! I am going to spend the summer visualizing him having a great time and sailing through JHS!

Congrats to Scarlett - she is a Baby Goddess!

Sorry for the earlier delete - post needed serious editing!

JCK said...

You're Scarlett has got that "IT factor." No doubt about it.

And your boy...too adorable with the top hat. What a family!

I have that book sitting right here in the bookshelf. I need to read it again. When I read it the first time, I was going through infertility treatments and did not have children. I'm sure it would resonate differently now.

Manager Mom said...

wow... big weekend! congrats to your daughter...and to the boy.

Junior High...*shiver* I repressed most of those years in my own life...

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

Congratulations and congratulations. And you are wonderful. I said so in my most recent post. Go take a look-see.

stephanie said...

Bravo to your girl! She sounds a lot like my boy, who would not practice his stand-up comic routine last year but did a fantastic job with the crowd at the talent show. I hate when they don't really need us, yet I'm pretty pleased, too.

And junior high? I love those goofballs. Just remember to breathe before reacting...

Anonymous said...

Just have to say I love Anne Lamott and read Operating Instructions often with my new-born, first-born baby in my arms. He turned 13 last month and he(I) survived 7th grade (1 more week) - it was hard, but I keep thinking (hoping) this was the hardest year. Best to Stryker and his launch...we will be there to help if we can.

Jennifer S said...

What a weekend! I'm very impressed with Scarlett's memory.

Congratulations to Stryker!

dkuroiwa said...

Congratulations to everyone in your family!!!
I'm so impressed with your Scarlett...a little girl who knows so strongly what she wants and knows how to get it...I look forward to following her on her path to *stardom*!!! (Will she continue to go by "Scarlett" or does she have a stage name prepared?!?!)
How lucky you are to live in a place where she has the outlets for such talent!!!

Angie said...

Congrats to Scarlett and Stryker! You have awesome kids, Matron - you should be proud.

Have a great weekend.

Tricia said...

It is wonderful when our children surprise us with accomplishment we didn't hand-hold. It sounds like your daughter has quite a gift for self guidance. And your son...moving on to middle makes me nervous, too!

Anonymous said...

My daughter is just finishing 6th grade as well. Like you with your son I imagine, I'm hoping all those early years of good parenting will carry her relatively safely through Jr.High. We shall see.

Thanks for stopping by so I could find your great writing.

Jocelyn said...

Ah, OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS: my gift of choice to every new parent.

I have a little crush on all your kids, btw.

Melanie said...

Junior high! Alarming.

Anonymous said...

Three years ago I went to the parent info night for my oldest's middle school. The principal announced that the children we all knew and loved would change and be virtually unrecognizable within the two years it took to go through middle school. And he was right. Mostly it has ended up well. But. Still.

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