Tuesday, December 23, 2003

He Did It

In yesterday's Bleat, Lileks wrote about the bonding of the community of parents at holiday shows. I went to my son's holiday extravaganza yesterday. I'm not sure if I felt any connections with the parents of the 3 year olds dressed as ladtkas sizzling in a pan, though their performance was breath taking. But I did love my son a little more.

Performing is not easy for him. His cousin, Megan, sings, dances, and recites the alphabet in several languages for applause. My sister says, "Megan, sing the Eensy Weensy Spider in Spanish for the mailman. Dance the finale from Swan Lake for the check out lady. Show the gas station attendant how you can tumble while reciting the Gettysburg Address." And Megan obliges.

Jonah always refused to do the baby tricks. At last year's holiday show, when the 15 other kids flickered like Menorah candles on cue, my son just said no. He froze in front of the paparazzi of parents with video cameras and digital cameras, making his teacher frown. As all the kids fell to the ground like candles melting, he just stood still with lips quivering.

This year, he did it. With a dreidel pinned to his white turtleneck, he spun and sang. At the end, he took the microphone and said convincingly, "We hope you had fun!"

When the show was over, he wolfed down a jelly donut and ran around in circles with relief.

It was a small triumph for a shy boy, and I'm proud, proud, proud. I'm trying to put aside thoughts of all those tramatic holiday shows in the future. This morning before I put him on the school bus, he asked me if I liked his singing yesterday. Yes, yes. Very much.

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