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Temperatures aren’t the only things that freeze in the winter

Submitted by on Thursday, 10 December 2009 No Comment

boots_singYou know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen. Comet and Cupid and Donder and Blitzen …

But do you know how scary it is up here? Even when the audience is all mommies and daddies we see every day, plus a few babies who are going to love the performance. Even if they cry, because that’s how babies are.

And do you know how excited we were, standing behind the poinsettia sheet curtain our teachers held up and trying to peek around edges or over the top to spot you, antlers bobbing like reindeer crossed with kangaroos?

But the second the curtain came down – EEEK! All those people, looking at us!

And so it went in Boots’ preschool this morning. The day had finally arrived. It was the event the 4-year-olds had waited for since before Thanksgiving, when they started learning three songs and came home whispering about a mysterious production that involved wearing “horns and a red nose” and refusing to reveal anything else.

Boots, at least, had enthusiastically rehearsed the tunes for three weeks – he finally had to give up the composition titles but told me it was OK because I still didn’t know everything that was planned. “There might be real jingle bells,” he hinted.

He’d agreed without complaint to wear his new green turtleneck we had to rush out and buy this week after we’d found out on Monday that the cast was supposed to wear red or green. It wasn’t a true Christmas green, but it was as close as could be found on a military post where the nearest discount store is 40 miles away.

As I dropped him off at school this morning, he’d waved a hand Vanna White-style toward chairs already arranged for the audience. “This is where you’ll sit, but you have to be real quiet,” he cautioned.

And then when I came back for the concert, Dad in tow, he was over the moon.

Until a few seconds after the curtain went down. Just seconds into “Rudolph,” he looked like he’d rather be on the moon than standing there singing in from of all those people. The hem of his not-quite-Christmas-green shirt and the lining of his pockets were much more interesting than the songs. By the time they got to “Feliz Navidad,” instead of wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, he was wishing it were over.

Fast-forward a few hours, when he wants to watch the video from the concert. The smile is back, and he suddenly remembers the overhead motions that are supposed to depict “from the bottom of my heart.” It seems that an audience of one is just the right size for him.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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