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What Have We Created???

I hope everyone’s holidays were
fabulous and low-key (I hear exhausted parents sniggering
everywhere at that – I myself was up to the wee hours
assembling Santa’s Thomas the Train set and table – but
that’s a different blog). We had a wonderful time, overall,
and I can’t wait to fill you in.

But before I do, I’ve got to share our Christmas Eve with
you, because it’s the story making the rounds of our family
table right now and I can’t keep this video to myself.

Maddie was cast as an angel in our church
pageant, and it is the first show she’s ever been in. The
entire month up to the pageant she was insisting she would do
“one more rehearsal” but NOT be in the show. We took it
one step at a time, one rehearsal at a time, each day Maddie
asserting it would be her last.

On the day of the dress rehearsal – 24 hours before the
pageant – Maddie agreed to go to the rehearsal and check out
the costume, dressing and rehearsing being optional. After getting
a look at the angel wings and halo (and the eight other girls
similarly dressed and playing tag on the stage) Maddie decided to
suit up – “But just for the practice, Mama, I’m
still not doing the show,” she warned. She had a fantastic
time and insisted on putting on her costume back at home several
times, even playing the music and practicing her dance.

Our pageant was at 5 p.m., which meant I had to wake Maddie up
early from her nap, and her first words upon waking were,
“Mama, I’m not going to be in the pageant, ok?”
She eventually agreed to go early to “return” the
costume, but not practice. Upon arrival, she decided to dress but
not practice. Then practice, but not perform. Once the pageant was
under way, Maddie wanted to hang out in the waiting area with the
other angels, but not perform. Finally, about five minutes before
she was supposed to go on, she turned to me with a huge grin on her
face and said, “Mama, I think I want to be in the
show!” Bathed in relief – we’ve been battling her
fears of the unknown for a long time, and I was so proud the fear
didn’t win – I hugged her and wished her luck.
“Angels We Have Heard On High” started playing, and I
slipped out to my front-row seat to see my angel dance.

I’ll skip the descriptions of the cherubic faces and delicate
dance motions – suffice it to say that my kid was far and
away the best dancer, the most beautiful angel, on the stage. I may
be biased. But Maddie clearly enjoyed herself, and was obviously
quite comfortable on stage, stealing glances and furtive waves at
me and belting out the song at the top of her lungs, all the while
twirling seraphically. (I don’t know if that’s a word
but I’m going to go with it.) The end of the song came, when
the angels were supposed to randomly run to spots on the stage and
go into their end pose. Maddie sweetly ran towards the front of the
stage, saw it was already occupied by two other angels, and deftly
slid her hands between them, neatly parting the girls and making a
space for her to step in front.

Uh oh, I thought to myself.

When the song ended, all the angels were herded to the back of the
stage for the remainder of the pageant. This had never been
discussed with the angels, but it was pretty clear they were
supposed to simply stand there for the duration.

Maddie clearly did not understand that.

Yes, my child thought the remaining two songs in the pageant were
dance solos. For her.

Maddie gradually inched her way forward, passing the poor Star of
Bethlehem and coming to hang out right next to the baby Jesus in
His car seat, irresistibly drawn forward to the spotlight. By the
time “Go Tell It On The Mountain” came on, Maddie was a
lost cause.

In the video (yes, of course, there’s video) you see Maddie
standing almost directly in front of Mary, wearing one of the
shorter angel dresses. The music begins, and Maddie glances over at
us, looking for understanding, permission, forgiveness, whatever.
You see the longing in her eyes, the dance bubbling up within her,
and suddenly there’s that “I’m going for
it!” determining moment that passes over her face and she
begins to dance.

Somehow my child channels Riverdance for a while, which I
don’t hold against her since she’s never actually seen
it. Getting bolder (and edging a bit in front of Jesus –sorry
Lord) Maddie starts bringing out the ballet moves, going all out as
the music winds to a finish. You can even see the Star of Bethlehem
on the right of the screen, holding its flashlight and shining its
beam on Maddie. It recognized a fellow star, and had to acknowledge

Right as the song ends, Maddie goes into a deep ballet curtsey
– mandatory at the end of every dance she does – which
we just barely miss as the Sunday School teacher walks on screen.
What we failed to capture right after that was the enthusiastic two
thumbs up Maddie gave us with a big grin as everyone applauded.

After the show ended, Maddie said, “Mommy, when can I be in
another show?”

My girl is hooked, and I am full of fear and trembling.

Suffice it to say Maddie has overcome her stage fright and is eager
to move on to bigger parts, even if she’s still the verbal
perfectionist: Brian went around telling everyone Maddie was his
little star, and she’d always say impatiently, “No,
Daddy, I was the angel! The ANGEL!” (as if to say,
“Weren’t you watching???”)

So enjoy the video just by clicking on the link below– I know
I watch it at least once a day. If you notice the camera shaking a
lot, Brian and I were peeing in our pants as we watched and had a
hard time holding still. Sorry.


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