Monday, November 29, 2010

Overeager school play moms, exit stage left

My son is bashful. No, really, he's Bashful - as in the most shy of the seven dwarfs who take care of Snow White in the classic fairy tale.

See, he's part of his classroom's "Readers' Theater," and he's been practicing for weeks. "Readers' Theater," for those who have not attended such a swanky second-grade affair, simply means that there's no memorization involved - the kids are allowed to read from a script. But it's still a big deal, you know, because there's an audience and a stage and costumes, or, well, construction-paper hats.

Anyway, this theater presentation was particularly special to me because my son, who truly is somewhat bashful, actually had solo speaking lines instead of just a chorus part. So I was somewhat excited to see how he did. You know ... for the sake of education and all. Not just for me - certainly not. I mean, it was for education that I took a few liberties with the assigned speed limits to make it across town in time to sit in a a classroom overflowing with doting grandparents and parents.

I sat down, determined to keep my cool. Really, it's just a little play, right?

Until .... Until .... my little boy took the stage and put on his little hat. Then something inside me just ...burst. I was just so PROUD. He was just so CUTE. Maybe that's an explanation for my behavior. All I can say is now I have a lot more sympathy for those stage moms I see on TV.

Because normally I don't wrestle for camera space while smiling maniacally. I don't melt at golden nuggets of verse like, "Don't open the door, Snow White!" I don't laugh and clap at every turn of phrase. But that day, I did.

But then, my prodigy faltered. Maybe he was nervous, maybe he was bored, maybe he just has rhythm, but for some reason, my little stage star started rocking. Yep. Rocking. Back and forth, back and forth, moving on the risers like Whistler's Mother.

"No, no, no," I whispered under my breath, standing tall and still and hoping he'd mimic me. "Don't rock - you'll fall! Stand still!" He probably didn't hear me - although the grandmother in front of me gave me an odd look.

Only when a few other parents began giving me strange looks did I realize my ebullience for the theater might be a little over the top. But I couldn't help it. I mean, that's my kid up there! Onstage! Well, yes, he is rocking back and forth for some reason, but - onstage!! And talking!! Out loud!!! Isn't that exciting??? Oh ... you've seen it before? Oh, well, sure ... me, too. I just wanted to make sure everybody enjoyed the show, that's all. You know, for the sake of education.

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