Thursday January 27th was our school's 9th annual Oral Interpretation Festival. "What's that," you ask? We-he-hell, let me tell you. It's when you round up as many kids as possible to memorize and recite poems on the local high-school stage with a microphone and spotlight. This was not an easy task. Last year I merely volunteered when Bella participated. I helped at a few practices and a little at the show. This year I was running it. All of it.
I knew I would be facing some participation challenges when I got blank or petrified stares in the classrooms back in December when I went to hype up this event. I quickly had to improvise from saying, "Raise your hand if you like to perform in front of a crowd," to "Raise your hand if the thought of doing this makes you so nervous you'd like to throw-up," and even certain teachers raised their hands. It was sort of like rounding kids up to go in for a voluntary trip to the dentist on a stage for all the world to see.
But in the end I got (begged) about 30 kids grades 1st through 6th to "come join the fun!". And overall, it was fun. I got to know the office staff quite well, and became an expert at all things Shel Silverstein. Plus I got to use the phrase, "The microphone is your friend, but it's the kind of friend that doesn't want to be touched or licked." How many times in your life will you get to say that?
We had practices, I made announcements, designed programs, called parents, and on the Monday before the event I felt totally on top of things. By Tuesday I still felt very positive, but had some misgivings about my overall preparation. By Wednesday afternoon I was sitting in my car at Costco crying. As it turns out, I was paralyzed with indecision estimating how many cookies and lemonade I'd need to buy and from where. I began to question my entire math upbringing which made me question why I thought I could handle putting all of this on to begin with. And now since it was an odd 65 degrees out the last week of January, I was beginning to sweat and panic. I quickly put the windows down, took a few deep breaths and steadied myself. I didn't want everyone walking by with their jumbo crates of toilet tissue and pita chips to hear some crazy, sweaty woman crying in the Costco parking lot. What would they think?
"Oh, how sad she forgot her Costco membership card."
Or, "Oh, how sad. That woman is stark raving mad. Well, at least I haves me some pita chips."
I grabbed my to do list that had now been scribbled on, slashed, burned and redone 50 odd times that day, flipped it over and called the friend that I thought would most be able to answer my cookie conundrum. She texted me 15 minutes later but by then I was already rolling. I had that epiphany that we mommies usually have after having a good cry fest in any assorted parking lot. I could do this. I would have the right amount of cookies and lemonade more importantly I knew exactly what I would wear. Anyone who doubted the show's impending success would "live to regret it" as Gabby had taken to saying quite a lot lately.
By Thursday I had it all under control again. I went for a bike ride, colored my hair and laid out my outfit. I decided to wear a former maternity dress my sister, Lynette had given me. This sounds just wrong I know, but to my credit, Lynette's thin, she got it in her first trimester AND it's quite stylish. Lynette and I both giggled that with the right belt and jacket it could serve as the perfect sassy dress for a non-pregnant woman. This show deserved just that type of sass for just that type of non-pregnant woman. You can check the link below if you don't believe me.
See? You totally can't tell it's maternity.
Anyway, the show was a success. Several moms stepped up to help, the kids were cute and I only momentarily panicked 5 or 6 odd times. After the show, people enjoyed an average amount of cookies (which will be increased next year) and lemonade with happy faces. Families finally milled out, Aaron took the girls home and I cleaned up. I ate leftover broken cookies, drank a few glasses of lemonade, but the last thing I did at 8:30 at night was to stop and get myself a celebratory cup of coffee with the remnants of a Christmas gift-card. I'd been saving it for a special occasion. This was it. Putting on a flawless school event, while simultaneously boosting the confidence of our youth! I ordered a small FULL FAT mocha because after all, I was wearing a maternity dress. It's not like I didn't have the extra room.