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10:21 a.m. - June 08, 2006
Another Dance Recital - Woot!
Another year, another dance recital?

Yeah, you betcha!

As in the previous years, the dance recital coincides with a particularly busy time for us, with class reunions to staff and a birthday party to plan., and because of other volunteer work, softball, and family in town the week before, oh and the dress rehearsal, we were a bit frazzed and harried before the recital.

But we survived, as did Katie.

This year, being veterans of the process, we knew exactly what to expect. We knew how full the parking lot would be. We knew when we had to drop off Katie and how many acts she would be in, and where we would pick her up. This was going to be quick and painless, as painless as it can be sitting through two hours of recital.

We did have a couple of wrinkles, of course. There are always wrinkles. It wouldn’t be life without wrinkles, eh?

Sunday morning was a long morning for me. Because of my ‘duties’ and reminiscing with some alums and others, I wound up getting in late. And now since we go to Sunday school and church (and YES, I still have questions about it all, but bear with, please...) it was an early morning. Sigh.

At church, I was asked to fill in as liturgist, and since it was Communion Sunday (even so, it was Pentecost Sunday, so it was a darn important one, too) I had a lot of reading and a lot of other duties to perform. So here I was, a bit hung over, a bit bleary eyed, probably with the beer sweats, helping administer the body and blood to the faithful.

And it didn’t help that I had the Rage Against The Machine cover of “Pistol Grip Pump” stuck in my head. That’s something you want to be singing to yourself in church, right?

I hope the fact that I was involved didn’t taint the bread and grape juice (again, we’re Methodists, please, no demon rum in church – darn it all) and condemn the sweet old ladies.

So after Sunday School and church it was home and time to get everything cleaned up for Kelly, who was going to babysit Kristin.

We felt that an (almost) one year old, who is crawling everywhere and *this close* to walking wouldn’t be good to have in the audience. However, Kristin still has separation anxiety issues, so our hope was that she’d go for nap, and stay, somehow, in nap for over three hours while Kelly read, quietly.

Oh, that was the big hope. Kelly is great with kids, but I can’t imagine a two-hour crying jag.

So Katie, laden with sugar from the morning (somehow she snuck in a second and third snack during church) decided to skip lunch, but we knew they’d have something at the recital for them to eat. I start running a load of dishes (we had a metric ton of dishes that needed to get done, and not just plates either), fix myself some lunch and start working on the computer, thinking that I’ve got to get downstairs to help clean a bit more before Kelly arrived.

And…Kelly arrived early.

Oops. “Hi, you are seeing our house in its natural state. If you want to run away and block all future incoming calls, it’s understandable.”

Yeah, it was a bit messy, but we cleaned it up as best we could, well, except for the mashed on bits of a banana, mashed potato, melon and Cheerios mixture around Kristin’s high chair. That is going to take some sandblasting, or a big ass chisel.

So, after we chat and gab a bit, while getting Katie all dressed and looking perfect, we realize that we’re about five minutes late in leaving. The recital is at the high school only five minutes away, so we’re OK, no problem.

We’re in the car – oh, I forgot my sunglasses and wallet – OK, we’re in the car, we’re pulling away, we’re turning onto Wabash Avenue, and…

“I don’t have the tickets”

OK, well, do we go back or press forward.

Katie needs to get to where she’s going, so we press onward. I will drop off Liz and Katie at the designated spot in the back of the school, run back for the tickets, and hopefully make it in time so we don’t miss anything.

The drop off is made, and I zoom back home, cranking the tunes in the mix I was making for Willow Fox in the car. I pull into the driveway, open the backdoor and call out to Kelly that I forgot the tickets and…

…she is cleaning our kitchen…

My jaw not only drops – I have to pick up the 298 pieces that it shattered into.

“Do NOT tell Liz. You guys have had a lot going on. This is your early birthday presents!”

If I didn’t have to find the tickets – I’d have given her a hug that just now ended, but I had a mission. Do NOT be late!

I find a place to park (in a far parking lot, but there were plenty of spaces, and some idiots were already parking in the grass instead of a parking lot where they may have to walk an extra 100 feet) and Liz meets me outside.

“Good, the curtain rises in two minutes!”

Mission accomplished!

Now, we wait. Katie has three dances, and I will summarize them later, but as for the others.

• They have two year olds that dance. Well, at least they’re on stage. Of the ten, only three are actually doing something what they’re supposed to be doing. One little girl stands there and stares out, stiff as a board, the whole time, in both songs that they do.
• The kids who are in middle school have a lot of pep and energy, but I think some of the costumes need to be dialed back a bit. I’m not a prude here, OK, maybe I am being a prude. Or a Dad.
• The little tap dancers had a little more trouble than Katie’s jazz group. Yet next year Katie wants to do both jazz and tap. Sigh.
• The older kids are really, really good. They have a lot of students that have been doing this for 10 years or more.
• One of the older ballet students, while doing a routing that showcased the male ballet dancers ability to lift and hold (or whatever you call it), had this look on her face all the time that 'I am NOT going to mess up – I am DEADLY serious here!'
• The inner geek in me loved it that they danced routines to “Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough” and “Shake It Up”.
• I was a bit floored that they did a routine to that “Don’t Cha” song. It’s a bit, well, you know. (Actually, that was the first time I heard it – yes, I live in a cave. It’s nice and dank.)

Now Katie did three songs. Her costume was a little cowgirl costume, complete with rope belt and a vest over her leotard, with white tights.

The first song was cute, called “Fiesta” but they really didn’t move THAT much. Katie kept along with what she was doing, even if she was in the back a bit, I could see that she was enjoying herself.

The second song was the big one. “Hey Howdy Hey”, which is why they were in cowgirl outfits. Actually, there were two boys in the routine as well! This was a cute little number where the kids did some do-se-does, some neat movements, and hand gestures. And Katie was out front and center, do-se-doing with this cute little boy and acting like she was having the time of her life.
The finale was the Dora version of “We Are Family”, and Katie was again out there having a blast, doing all the steps pretty close to the right time she was supposed to do them.

It was all very cute, and very fun. I checked my watch, and it was 2 hours. Thank GOODNESS we don’t have two more acts to set through, and thank GOODNESS we had just one day of this, and not three. (Oh, those days are coming SOON, no doubt!)

Backstage, we found Katie, and she gave us all big hugs. On her way out, she wanted a snack, and picked out the sour straw-looking chewy candy things that were coated in sugar. Of course! Liz asked about her lunch.

Katie, now displaying a mug full of sugar, said that there wasn’t a sandwich, just a cookie and an apple and that someone took her apple but she got it back and ate the apple herself.

Now, what really happened? Was there a sandwich? The world will never know.

Driving back home, we told Katie how PROUD we were and she was beaming. Then, we prepared to get back into the house.

We were expecting a loud wail, but what we got was relative silence until Kristin spotted Liz, then a big squeal and the fastest crawler in the world went right over to Liz.

It seemed that when Kristin woke up, she took right to Kelly, and they had a fun old time playing and all that. It was a great experience for them both.


So we thanked Kelly, profusely, for the child care and set about to have a celebratory pizza for dinner. It was a very good day indeed and the star of the show that day was still smiling about her on-stage performance as she settled down for bed. Of course, that was late because of the sugar high, but hey.

Some endnotes:

• Liz did not notice the kitchen was clean until Kelly left. She called and left her a big thank you message, and I think she said that there will be many cookies baked for her this summer.
• The rope belt on Katie’s costume didn’t survive the night. Kristin got hold of it and, well, it was twisted into some interesting shapes.
• Katie is still dancing around the house and sometimes singing “Hey Howdy Hey!”


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