I told you about the showchoir costumes that fell into my care briefly. And I told you I was up at 2 in the morning on Monday still sewing. And now, my good readers, I want to elaborate on that story. Cause you deserve to know what took me away from you for almost a week. And I need to (insert the word that rhymes with itch.) I used it once in proper form with the kids, as they were bellyaching, and it was hour 3 of whining and tattling. And I blew my stack and told them to “stop itching”, except I didn’t say itching. And now I am forever reminded about the time I swore at the kids. I’m a fantastic mother, huh? But seriously, I know I am not the only mom who has ever said that when she was on the verge of wits end. Am I???
What I must first tell you about showchoir is that I am a jazz hand junkie.
I started the wild ride of showchoir in Jr. High and continued it through High School. I had a husband and wife team who were the directors, Mr. and Mrs. V, and I have the deepest respect for both of them. They taught me about breath support, trying to be light on my feet (a lesson I never really grasped) and of course, something called a musical orgasm. (OK, before you freak out, it’s not what it sounds like. Plus, Hillary used the word douche recently on her blog, so I can use the word orgasm.) For those of you scratching your head, that is the point in the song where everything crescendos (gets louder) and builds until the singers and the audience gets goosebumps. (Musical O’s are important. I get them in worship all the time. And it’s not weird at all. It’s heavenly!) This couple was dedicated to taking a group of hyperactive melodic divas (both male and female) and getting them to work together as a team. It took a lot of ego tempering, yelling, tears, slamming hands on the pianos (something they both are famous for) and a big butt load of commitment. I owe them a lot, and if I ever win a grammy, a dove or a tony, they are on my thank you speech, right under Jesus. I love you both, Mrs. and Big V!!!
Now, the reason I am so obsessed with showchoir is that it was the one place I knew that although I was the biggest girl in the “Contemporaires” (our group’s name) I also knew that I had something special to offer. I have a very expressive face, a strong voice, and I hear harmonies like nobody’s business. It’s no surprise that I took the phrase “It ain’t over till the fat lady sings” as a personal challenge. And sing I did. The musical values instilled in me by Mr. and Mrs. V have carried over into my adult hood, and I am a better person, both on stage and off, because of them.
More than anything I want my kids to feel the passion of music and understand how a little song and dance can change a roomful of people from sleepy and stoic to spirited and inspired. I also want them to NEVER be afraid to get up in front of people. My mom, Margaret the Saint, has a wonderfully strong case of stage fright, something I have never been afflicted with. And it makes a world of difference. I can talk to people, sing for people, and yes, even break into a jazz square with a nice grapevine and dance. Our kids deserve that freedom too.
So when Nick, the elementary music teacher, suggested a showchoir for the 4th and 5th graders at the kids’ school, I was all over that like me on French Fries. Or a steak n’ shake buttery burger. I was in before the opening 4 counts.
Because I was trying to be supportive, I offered my services anywhere I could be used. Bringing snacks to rehearsals, being a live body in the room to remind kids to not talk during the instructions, and to sing out during the song. I also briefly offered to HELP sew on SOME costumes.
If only I had known!
(Please know, I am honored that I could be a part of this. My 10 year old Amy and my niece Gabbi are both in the showchoir, so it’s my parent duty. I also think that the director Nick is fantastic. He’s been a great addition to our school. Funny and bright, ambitious and energetic, he’s a perfect match to our pint size performers.)
Enter the score of my drama- the Jackson 5. Yep, the kiddos are singing “I’ll be there,” “Dancing Machine” and “ABC” for their set. Only they haven’t got the choreography done for “ABC” yet. So for their winter/holiday concert this Thursday night, they going to dance to the “Dancing Machine.” But they needed costumes. And Bell Bottoms are totally in order.
And lots of parents signed up to help hand sew sequins on the flare leg jeans. Unfortunately, when I went to deliver the jeans to others, they sweetly declined.
Which left me with 25 pairs of jeans to sew.
And each pair ended up taking me between 45 minutes to an hour to finish. And that’s if I was booking it.
Now you can only sew sequins for so long before a few things happen.
A) Your back begins to get sore from hunching over to see the teeny tiny hole in the middle of the sequin.
B) You get blinded by the light of the lamp hitting the silver sequins and shining back into your eyes.
C) You run the needle up your fingernail or stab the tip of your finger.
D) You want to cry because the pile of unsequined jeans appears to never get smaller.
But I pushed through, and conquered the mountain of jeans. It took me all weekend to finish them, and I could hardly type yesterday because I have mutilated the tips of my fingers, but I got them done.
And it felt great.
What was even better, was that I was so wrapped up in finishing the jeans that I totally forgot to whine and cry about over eating during Thanksgiving. And I didn’t gain a single pound. In fact, I am sitting pretty at 170.
So what was the secret to my dieting success during the holiday?
I guess it was all in the jeans….
tales of the cupcake part one
2 days ago