I can't believe I forgot Tuesday. There I was reading an e-mail from the school that said "As you know, tonight is the K-2 Talent Show..." Huh? As I know? Start time: 6:00. Current time: 5:55. I mentioned this to Jarrah. She didn't hesitate: "Let's go. I don't need dinner." We jumped in the car, leaving the broccoli in the lurch.
For two years, I've been hoping Jarrah would enter the talent show. I mean, I'm not sure what her talent is, but I figured she could do something dramatic. She has an uncanny ability to memorize two-page Shel Silverstein poems, for instance. But she crushed my dreams both times. Something about being "shy" or "scared." Whatever. As if. But we both agreed that we could attend the show this year and see what all the fuss is about.
And that time was now. We tiptoed into the packed house of proud parents and leaned against the wall near the front. Jarrah claimed that several of her classmates would be performing but we only saw one.
What I quickly learned, though, is that for every interlude of tuneless banging on the piano, there was an Act of Total Awesomeness that had me amazed and woo-hooing. Perhaps the highlight of the night was a tiny little man who shuffled out in his big jeans looking lost...until a hip-hop song came on and he began whirling like a dervish around the floor, sometimes on his head. I have never seen the like and it made my night.
There was also the shy, pale little girl from J's Daisy troop whom I've never heard utter a sound...turns out she doesn't have to because her feet don't lie. She tapped up a storm around that stage and held herself like a duchess, smiling proudly with every clickety-clack. Such showmanship in one so young, oy.
There was a little guy who crossed his arms and did a single, jerky dance move to a song that seemed to be called something like "Rock You Hard." I have no idea what was going on there, but I was mesmerized and could have watched it all night. Oh, and the self-possessed kid who did a Borscht-Belt style comedy act with amazing timing. I laughed the whole time, but my favorite was the segment on math humor: "What did the 0 say to the 8?" "Nice belt." WHEEEE!
And then there was the mouse. Oh, the mouse. Who was actually a close friend of Jarrah's in kindergarten. Dancing to the Nutcracker. A bold choice, I was thinking. I had no idea. The music began, and she stared at the audience and suddenly began jerking her ear violently toward her shoulder like she had water in it. This went on for a bit, and then a sudden transition into what I believe were intended to be grand jetes around the perimeter of the stage but which looked like a massive seizure. I would have been fine except that Jarrah turned around and bugged her eyes at me. I realize in retrospect that this look was actually "Mad respect!" but I unfortunately read it as complicity and before I could stop myself I had snort-laughed louder than the music. Mortified, I clamped my hands over my mouth to stem the convulsive chortles, with the result that tears began pouring down my face and Jarrah started yelling "MOMMY, WHY ARE YOU CRYING?" while I repeated silently over and over "Please don't let her parents be looking at me. Please don't let her parents be looking at me." Our intrepid dancer progressed to lying on her back and shuddering like she'd just eaten some poisoned peanut butter, during which I was physically incapable of controlling myself. Jarrah was really concerned that I was upset and helpfully kept asking me about it.
Jarrah was not happy to see how much I enjoyed the talent show, and kept trying to silence my clapping hands with hers. Occasionally, she would turn around and whisper through gritted teeth, "I could do that. I could totally do that." Which--call me crazy--does not sound like the reaction of a shy person. Maybe next year will be the year.