Recital Time Again

Okay, yesterday was my 22nd wedding anniversary– but that’s not what I remember about this time of year.

Nope. For the last 14 years, it’s been recital time.

I don’t know why I’m so tired–in fact, I feel guilty about being this trashed. My kids were in the performances, or, Chicken’s case, working backstage too, but no. I feel like I’ve been through a thresher because I sat for five hours in a hot theatre, and then did it all over again. Now, to my credit, I was drinking water like a madwoman and the bathrooms were up (or down, depending on the day) two-three flights of stairs, but really, it came down to the exhaustion of sitting on a hard bench and trying to keep attention.

This year, I had a new toy. Besides my knitting (and that was three respectable inches on my sock, thank you very much) I had my new phone, and a friend on the other line.

Now, we all know we’ve got good friends out there, right? I mean, there are a few of you that I would feel completely comfortable banging down your actual door at three in the morning and introducing myself briefly (I’m Amy!) before sobbing on you for hours should my life fall to shreds. (For some of you, I’ve already done the equivalent thing in cyberspace. You know who you are. I’ll never forget everything you’ve given me for the last nine months.)

So I was texting one of THOSE friends. One of those friends to whom you can text, “Help! I’m sitting in a darkened theatre, my ass hurts, my cooter hurts, I’m falling asleep, it’s hot as fuck and I’M STARVING! Send food/humor/porn!”

And, you know, they deliver.

Well, she’s in Hawaii, so she couldn’t deliver the food, but the humor and porn? I got me some of that! (Well, as you can see by the picture, which is now my phone’s wallpaper, it wasn’t really porn. Just purty pictures:-)

So, that kept me awake when the littlest little ones were doing their ballet figures to songs I’ve heard almost as many times as they have.

But other than that, the recital was as it always is: a combination endurance test/parental love fest. The little ones were VERY cute, (yes, even other people’s children–very adorable) and the big ones breathtaking– especially the ones I’ve seen grow up for the last fourteen years. This year, a lot of the kids in Chicken’s class graduated, including one boy who was in nearly half of the 65 numbers, if you include his job as a spotter for the younger gymnastics kids. This young man… he’s one of those people you watch perform and think, “Oh my Goddess. He’s a human being, and he can DO these things… this beauty on stage makes all of us human beings better people.” Watching him alone brought a lot of joy.

Zoomboy was actually participating this year–most other years he’s been on stage, but he was moved from spotter to spotter, been twisted into various pretzels, and then moved on. This time, he participated in the process–it was nice to see. Of course, he was not without his quirks. On the first night, I was sitting next to a nice woman whom I’ve gotten to know over the last three years that our kids have been in gymnastics together, and I said the following:

“Oh… geez… don’t tell him to tuck his shirt in! You just gave him permission to play with himself in front of five hundred people. SEE!!!” And sure enough, there he was on stage and his his hand went from tucking in the shirt to checking in on the boys, just to make sure they hadn’t shifted during the move. My friend thought this was hilarious–she only has a girl.

Squish was… well, she was lost. Just ass-fucking lost on the stage. But in a cute way. Mate and I had the following conversations about her.

“Yup–she’s four beats and one move behind the whole class! And wait… in two steps she’s going to check for the tape.” (They put tape on the floor so the kids know where to stand. “Yup, there she goes…” (This was the rehearsal night–my friend thought we were like a parental comedy duo.)

The second night, the actual recital, was MUCH worse.

Me: “God she’s lost.”

Mate: “She’s not even following the other kids on stage!”

Me: “And yet she appears to be bossing them around. Look– it’s like, ‘I have no idea where I’m going but follow me, dammit!'”

Mate: “Maybe she’s really an actor. None of it is her fault, she just can’t work with people because they don’t understand her.”

Me: “Yup–that’s why she’s four beats behind and going in the wrong direction. Nobody else gets her method!”

*sigh* But she was adorable–in fact, she got the mass, “Awwwww….” award, for clueless kid with most parents rooting for her!

Chicken was… ye gods. Amazing. Just amazing. On the dance floor she’s got this suave sort of grace–she moves with the rhythm, she DANCES. It’s taken her years to adjust to where she can do this–and watching her makes me cry. (I tried to take pictures for you all–I did. Mary Calmes, my text buddy, can vouch for this– I kept sending her fuzzy pictures of my spawn and she kept sending me pretty boys kissing. Believe me when I say NONE of those pictures are fit to post.)

And poor Chicken. She felt like crap– I was pumping her full of cold meds, and then, at the end, she came and discreetly (i.e., texted me on the phone) a note letting me know that Aunt Flo had paid her an unwelcome visit in the middle of the show. Bitch. God, that would suck. At the end of the show she wanted to go do clean up but she felt like crap–she fell apart and had a big meltdown before she decided to go with dad and help break the set down. Turns out, break down was accomplished–so many other people had been there to help, they weren’t needed. She got to go home, and I think that’s where she wanted to be most.

So that’s where we are now. Doughnuts for Mate’s father’s day breakfast, and dinner and a movie later today to celebrate our anniversary (which was on Friday, of all things. Like we had time for more than Mate to give me a card and me to feel guilty on Friday.) This morning, Mate got showered with gifts, including the book “Sh*t my Dad Says,” which is fucking hilarious! Seriously–make it a best seller, you won’t feel used by media whores or anything–you’ll just really like this father/son dynamic.

And that’s about it. I’m not going to recreate my paean to Clarence Clemons– I think last night’s post did just fine. One of the things I didn’t mention last night was that I saw Clemons on the Jon Stewart show, talking about his biography. During the show, he mentioned that there were pages in the book–tinted gray–that may or may not have happened. His memory wasn’t really clear on those matters, and Stewart LOVED THIS. In his words, “If you’ve been in this business for 40 years and you don’t have some gray pages in your memory, then you haven’t really been a musician!”

Clemons was a musician, and short of the death of the Boss himself, I’m not sure if there’s another one who has touched my heart with quite so much power.

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