THOSE SCHOOL PRESENTATIONS
Last evening I went to a school presentation put on by the grade school that my granddaughter attends. She is now in the 5th grade. Over the generations, no matter how things change, they continue to remain the same.
When I was at Waynedale School, we had a talent show and the excitement was high. We practiced for months and I distinctly remember practicing with my friend, Gelaine Listenberger, in my basement. We both had on our tap shoes and did our own choreography. We practiced every evening and were at least as good as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. When the big night came, and the curtains opened, there we were on stage, overwhelmed by the packed school gymnasium and the huge curtain opening for our big event. The moves that seemed so big, and the tapping that sounded so loud in our basement, almost got lost in obscurity on stage. Nevertheless, the audience paid rapt attention, and when we curtsied at the end, the applause was so gratifying that we thought we were surely stars. That’s when I was the kid.
When my daughter sang in a school production when she was about my granddaughter’s age, I was in tears as the combined words poured out over us. “Morning has broken, as the first morning, Bluebird has spoken, like the first song,” and the melodious heartfelt song stays with me to this day. That’s when I was the mother.
Last evening, after months of practice my granddaughter was the one on stage with her girlfriend. They did a dance routine that they had practiced for months. They were stupendous. They did their routine well, even if my granddaughter may have fallen out of her lift at one point. I thought she was wonderful, and the audience gave the same kudos that had been given to me as a child. That’s when I was the grandmother.
Now, to make a few comparisons, I note that those lousy metal chairs are the same ones used sixty years ago at Waynedale. This body does not do well sitting in one of those chairs for two hours. Probably the least memorable performance was an Indian kid who was very small. He had a sack over his head and was singing something that was muted by the sack. After his routine, he pulled off the sack, bowed, and rolled his eyes in a motion that sent the crowd into peals of laughter. He had such huge dark eyes, and when he rolled them up and all you saw was white, it was so comical that you forgot that you didn’t hear a word he sang. At any rate, my misery was increasing. I fidgeted to get a more comfortable position which is impossible on those metal chairs.
It then occurred to me, once I got home, moaning and holding my back, that when I was a child, being the performer, I never gave a thought to the discomfort of the grandmas sitting in those miserable chairs. As a mother I was still young enough not to have those maladies of age. And now, from this perspective I have come full circle, and no matter the misery, the kids and the crowd are the same. The kids perform, we all clap and cheer for every one of them, and the next day the kids are the same happy kids, and we older ones are laid up! Now it seems to me that over a period of three generations that they could improve the seating and get rid of those metal chairs.
Well, at any rate, we have video of my beautiful granddaughter doing a spectacular dance routine, and the heating pad ought to fix me right up in a week or so!
Love to all my Waynedale friends,
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