Earlier on in the week, as Big Sister tucked herself beside her keyboard, she asked if she and Little Sister could put on a concert for their father and me. I have to admit that I didn’t give it too much thought, initially, as we have owned that keyboard for almost as many years as she has been alive and her interest in it has burned out quickly as she approached the ten minute mark each time. Something was different this time, though. I watched her as she read the instruction booklet more carefully and as she painstakingly wrote out programs, concert tickets, theater signage and a set list. I marveled tonight as I took photos of the display and the notification that there would be a short intermission where the musicians would be collecting money for the charity of their choice, The March of Dimes.
Little Sister took her part equally as serious, rehearsing the different speeds in which she might sing her first number, and discussing wardrobe options that could best accommodate her desire to “act out” “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” while being attached to her microphone. They made sure to tape reminders of the show (complete with the date and time) on any surface they thought my husband or I might come in contact with and simultaneously we knew that seeing them posted and being heard commenting on the excitement that we were building was far more important than the brief irritation of tape residue on the mirrors, the fridge and the television.
They used industrial extension cords to plug in both their karaoke machine and keyboard in the living room and pulled the window bench seats from the entranceway to create a platform for their instruments. There was multiple outfit changes and minimal bickering. Though the performance was adorable, what we witnessed as they interacted with one another before, during and after the show was incredible. They coached each other and worked together and seemed almost in their own little world as they cleaned up the props and dismantled the stage, excitedly discussing the highlights of each song and their own take on each scene.
I can be very very good at noticing all the parenting fails I have – all the missed connections, all the things I let fall the cracks and every way I could have improved. But tonight, I saw the best of it too – just the two of us, the very most import people in our kids’ lives fully soaking up their presence. And they reflected back that they heard the message with genuine delight. These little people sincerely thanked us for our time and attendance of the performance and double checked to be certain we would be able to get the proceeds into the hands of the March of Dimes Charity. We could not have been more proud of their tenacity, generosity and grace. It was a great moment in family-ing and for once I wasn’t trying to pinpoint exactly who to thank for it, or how exactly it came about, or anything else; I was fully there.
If you, yourself, missed out on the incredibly limited opportunity to view “Lights, Camera, Distraction” (it was only in one city, for one night and the tickets were limited to two), do not despair – I don’t believe it’s the last chance you will have to view an original work by the producing company.