The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

One’s a parrot, the other’s a tree

on June 12, 2014

This morning Husband and I along with #3 were at the annual school performance cheering on #1 and 2.

It’s a proper stage production in an auditorium with comfy seats and everything. Three years ago it seemed quite a big thing to pay S$50 (£23.77 at current exchange rates) each for a school show especially when one was never sure that either child would actually join in the performance.

But after a couple of years experience enduring an hour in the outdoor heat for the Christmas and Chinese New Year shows, I’m more than happy to pay this price for aircon luxury and a padded chair. I half wonder whether this is a cunning ploy of the school to make us more appreciative of the indoor theatre option when it’s offered.

This year’s theme was The Enchanted Jungle and neither child had given much of a hint as to what their part in the show would be. Such is their loyalty to their teachers. How come when I tell them not to do something it’s not met with the same compliance? But catch them unawares and you’d hear them singing the odd song and shaking a move or two.

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When Husband and I start to join in we are met with such surprise that we should be aware of any popular tunes. ‘How do you know this song Mummy?’ I’m almost offended by the tone of incredulity. Except we really are not that with it. Who doesn’t know ‘We will rock you’ and ‘Can you feel it’ (actually my Dad, Mr Li wouldn’t) but we were slightly thrown a bit when we thought #1 was going around shouting out expletives. I thought my rare outburst of colourful language in the car was to blame when #1 was seemingly shouting ‘For f@c# sake’ rather loudly but turns out what he was really singing ‘What does the fox say?’ Phew! Off the hook. What indeed does the fox say. I have watched the video on YouTube and still am none the wiser.

#1 was a tree and #2 a parrot. Now like any proud parent, as soon as I spot them enter stage left I’m doing the waving thing. Really big waving in case they can’t see me. #1 then sees me but pretends not to. #2 being a year younger and less aware of the concept of embarrassing parents, happily waves back. #3 is my ally as she shouts out both their names and does double hand waving. Good work #3.

The children involved are aged between two to six years old. It’s quite amazing that they remember their lines and the dance moves whilst on this big massive stage looking down at all these people gazing rapturously back. I bet we, the grinning, teary eyed parents, are more of a bemusing show for them to behold.

Knowing how difficult it is to get just three children to stop still and all look at the same time for a photo, I can only commend and express appreciation for the hard work that the teachers put in to making our children show stoppers for the day. From the singing and dancing to set design and presenting some of the work they’ve done this school year to make us parents feel like our children are actually listening to someone. That there’s hope after all.

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As I watched them both up on stage I could feel the pride. I could feel the lump in my throat. I could feel the relief for them that they’re actually enjoying themselves. Last year, #2 had a tough time during the rehearsal show feeling quite overwhelmed by the scale of things. But on the day, she got up there, looked out for us, did her bit and didn’t cry until the very end when we were all applauding. To see her two year old face crumple into tears was hard to see and I quickly whisked her off the stage so we could tell her just how proud we were.

I’ve been in school shows too, as has every one of us, though parental spectating was rare because the performances tended to be in the evening when everyone was at work. Plus my Mum has always said it’s very difficult following what’s going on when you don’t understand the language. It doesn’t matter! All you need to do is wave and smile.

Anyways, I have sung songs as a big group and as a duet (Any old iron, any old iron, any any any old iron) and been a shepherd and the Scroll of King Herod. So I was rather puzzled to find as an adult that I couldn’t sing. I really can’t sing. I sound awful. I wish I could sing though but not in a I-want-to-be-on-X-Factor kind of way. Just enough to sing Christmas carols and a spot of karaoke. I wish I could play the piano too.

So a while ago I was musing out loud to Husband upon this fact that how could I have once been in the school choir if I can’t sing. He tells me ‘You definitely can’t sing and everyone gets to be in the school choir. Fact.’ Oh. Break it to me gently.

Well done #1 and 2. I’m still so proud, as is Husband. We’ll remember to get the DVD this year too.

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