Knitting in the Dark

*phew* Well, the recital is over, and I for one am immensely relieved.

Don’t get me wrong–the recitals are FUN–for one thing (and I’ve said this before) you get to see people’s children grow up performance by performance, and you feel just as proud for ‘that one kid who’s been around a while’ as you do for your own (if not a little more puzzled by how that kid ends up in so damned many numbers.) But they are also EXHAUSTING–and not just for the little kids, who are right now too wound up to even endure company in the same room.

Anyway, I think I’ll do this by bullet points–there are just too many disparate moments to put together coherently!

* I worked on two different socks in the course of the recital and the recital rehearsals, and I have come to two conclusions:

A. Schaeffer’s ‘Nicole’ is the BEST SOCK YARN EVER. Smooth, round bodied, crisp, it can mask the WORST stitches and it has a finish more like cotton than wool. I never bore of the color combinations, and I can knit in the dark without hardly a missed stitch or split.

B. Lion Brand’s Sock-Ease is the WORST SOCK YARN EVER. Okay–that’s a slight exaggeration. But I picked this one for the color (the intended victim likes uber bright, and the pink mix they have fits the bill!) and I couldn’t seem to take a stitch without splitting, dropping, or slipping a stitch. I’m hoping there’s some blooming in the skinny, skanky bodied yarn when I block, because as it is, I’m going to have to write an extensive note to the intended victim regaling her with all the places this sock has been. I find that people forgive your most horrendous knitting if they think it’s well traveled.

* Knitting in the dark does NOT preclude one from falling asleep when the auditorium’s air conditioning is overwhelmed by 95 degree heat and too many bodies.

* Falling asleep in seats not meant for an epically proportioned body can lead to a pinched nerve.

* All of that goes by the wayside when your husband and two daughters get up on stage dressed like Nerd-Herders and dance.

* But being overwhelmed by sentimentality does not make me blind to the adorable flaws of my adorable children. To wit:

—Squishie. although a very decent little ballerina, seemed to be overwhelmed by the stage craft. She got lost during her first ballet number, and after a bit of time looking at her peers hopelessly, turned around and started dancing with her own shadow. Her shadow proved most entertaining and they completed their number as a duet, the other ten little girls on the stage be-damned.

—This was not the only time Squishie was overwhelmed by what was going on around her. Although she seemed to do extremely well in the blacklight tap number, when she was supposed to be a mermaid, dancing quietly as the pointe dancer broke our hearts in emerald green satin shoes during ‘Part of Your World’, she was, in fact, doing what the rest of the audience was doing. Watching the dancer in the green satin shoes. You could practically read her mind: “Okay, supposed to dance now, everyone’s pirhouetting, I’ll do that. But look. Isn’t she pretty? Isn’t she lovely? She’s a great dancer. Cool. Oops! Pirhouette! (sic) Now watch… this move she’s making is AWESOME! Oh! Pirhouette! Now what’s she doing? Her form is flawless, isn’t it? What? Oh… dammit… another damned turn. Seriously, can’t anyone see I’m trying to watch the soloist? Oh… wait! We get to mug the audience? Screw the soloist! I’m in!” And so on.

—She was awesome in gymnastics!

—Zoomboy, whose only event WAS gymnastics (but he did it for two nights) was, on the other hand, butt lost. He knew what to do–although the boy is all elbows, knees, and flippers, so really, he just put himself in position and let the spotter fold him like origami–but his knowledge of what he was supposed to do whas hampered by his desire to make sure I was watching him doing it! They kept having to grab his chin and make him go, because he was staring out past the stage into the bright lights and waving. I finally had to call (from the balcony, mind you!) “Zoomboy! Mama’s here, now get behind the curtain and do you job!”

–Zoomboy also needed to speak up and ask for a snot rag without whining. Both of us had a three-alarm allergy attack in the last two days, and during the final bow last night, he must have wiped his nose on his hand eight times before offering it to the girl next to him to hold hands during the bow. To her credit, the poor kid gave him a look that clearly said, “Oh HELL to the NO!” and Zoomboy gave her a puzzled look and wiped his hand on his pants. Now, knowing Zoomboy as I do, I know he must have been BEGGING for a tissue for at least an hour before that happened, because he HATES not having a tissue, but since I was not back there, and I was putting his emotional well being in the hands of a backstage mother who was so uptight she wouldn’t let Squish perform in a skort (but who would, oddly enough, forget to put the skort on under the short dress doubling as a frilly blouse, so that I took my daughter off stage last night with her chunky monkey butt hanging out in it’s white cotton undies for the whole world to see!) I sort of thought that, for sweet Goddess’ sake, SOMEBODY would have gotten the poor kid a goddamned kleenex! But it was not to be, and we have, for all posterity, that lovely image of the the poor girl, looking at his hand as though it was a green blob of ebola virus, just blown for her. Lovely–but very, very, funny!

—Chicken was an awesome prop-master, when she wasn’t doing her three numbers. The California Raisin box with her green sneakers danced in perfect time! Seriously–seeing her dance was a revelation, because it was the first time I saw her on stage that she really WANTED to be there! Last year, before the recital that wasn’t (if you recall, we were in Colorado last year!) she finally got the courage to quit dancing. Our caveat had always been, when she was brave enough to tell her dance teacher that she quit, then she was old enough to make that decision on her own. So she did. And she and her dance teacher had a lovely conversation, and she ended up being put in the adults class, and this was her first recital in the adult class, and SHE LOVED IT! She loved to dance, she loved working with ALL of the dancers, she loved it backstage, and finally, FINALLY, I felt as though I was not being a totally crappy parent for shoving her through the doors of the dance academy and running away like a two-penny thief! She may not have smiled (because she doesn’t, you know) but she did have fun– every placement of her hands was perfect, and she hasn’t shut up about working props backstage for two weeks. Go Chicken– you were SO beautiful, it was not even a little bit funny. By all means, keep scowling, you’ll keep away all but the heartiest, and only the best is worth my Chicken.

* Mate enjoyed himself too, and I know this because not only in the father/daughter dance, he was also in security. He loved that. But I missed him– rehearsals were for three weeks, and I flat out wanted my Mate. So, at the end of the the recital today, as I walked up to him (because I was waiting for the line to go down to go fetch Zoomboy) I was expecting maybe a thousand-yard stare and some mumbled words, because he was so tired, he fell asleep stretching across the bed to fetch his clothes from the clean pile. (Someday I’ll tell you about the laundry monster. Maybe.) What I got was a kiss. An honest-to-crap Public Display of Affection from my publicly reserved mate! *happy buzz* Oh, he missed me too!

* And I think I mentioned the three alarm allergy attack. *Yawn* It was an awesome, happy, exciting, EXHAUSTING day, and for a finale, I get to make potato salad and go to a memorial–with the same family I just EXHAUSTED with way too much fun.

Monday? I’m going to the gym and coming home. And not a whole lot else. I swear.

0 thoughts on “Knitting in the Dark”

  1. Donna Lee says:

    I love recitals. They are so much fun to watch. The rule for quitting activities in our house was the same. You had to do the quitting yourself and had to get up the gumption to talk to the person in charge. Character building my dad called it.

    Aren't children wonderful?

  2. roxie says:

    you write so well! I feel as if i was in the seat behind you. What a marvelous recital!! I wish, oh I wish I could have seen the daddy/daughters dance!

    Yeah you do get what you pay for with sock yarn. And yes, a tale of the sock's travels makes even the unlikeliest product a winner.

    Gym, home, and then you thinkthe dragon will leave you alone? Hah!

  3. Chris says:

    As Roxie noted, I felt like I was there with you. 🙂 I hope you're recovering from the allergy attack. We had an inversion yesterday, so I can sympathize.

  4. What a fun evening.

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