Tuesday morning, 8 am. I was fit for the hills. Girl2 was in floods of tears and was not to be negotiated with, Girl1 was bouncing with excitement and wanting me to watch her practise: ‘count me in for my new step’, ‘can you do my hair’, ‘isn’t my cape like a superhero’s?’. I had a day of the dancing festival behind me, another full day to go. I hadn’t had coffee yet. Did I mention it was only 8 o’clock? Maybe the day could only get better? But then, I was going to be spending the day in a hot theatre watching 70-odd 9 or 10 year olds lepping about a stage, with varying degrees of skill, enthusiasm and agility. Time for medication…
Monday could have been worse, because Spurs Fan took the evening shift of driving, distributing numbers, serving the tea etc, but it was a late night. Monday + 10pm + Girl2 = receipe for disaster. On Tuesday morning she was exhausted, had a day of school ahead and couldn’t find one of her medals. She looked in her dancing bag, in the big bag, in Spurs Fan’s coat pocket, but it was nowhere to be found. And she had to bring it to school to show her friends. Today, not tomorrow. No, a substitute medal would not do. Grabbing a random medal from the hoard upstairs and suggesting it was won on Monday would be cheating. There was no solution so off we went to school, Girl2 blotchy and despairing, me not much better. Then the school phoned to say she was ‘fretting’ ( I heard ‘having a meltdown’) because she’d forgotten her violin. Luckily we live in the next street to the school so Girl1 trotted off to save the day, while I finally got the coffee. It was still only 8.30 am…
The festival was full of familiar faces- the usual prizewinners, the rest of us, some new people. I met a former colleague at his first festival; what joys are ahead? It’s about showing off, having fun, spending time with friends and maybe getting a medal to show at school. My own dancing career was brief; I had no coordination, enthusiasm or resilience. Our girls are grand wee dancers, but they’re not winning championships. They deal with that remarkably well. They swallow the disappointment, dust themselves down and keep on going. I admire that.
Image from flickr
There are heavy shoes and light shoes, fizzy drinks and sticky sweets, new steps and new dances, big smiles and anxious faces. Girl1 eyeing up a costume with lots of sparkly bits. Should we get noisier heavy shoes? How do these small children get their feet to do these things? Team dances, couples, 3 hands- each of them a small miracle of coordination and practise. A tea break; time to go outside for air, even in the rain. Coffee and a bun. We’ll get through ok. I’m perfecting the art of reading at the back while not missing the important people dancing. (It wasn’t always thus- ‘yes, of course I saw you, you were great.’)
Eventually we all got home in one piece. Each girl got 3 medals. The lost medal was found in Girl2’s dancing bag after all. I had a long bath and finished my book. We all relaxed.
Thank all gods it’s over for another while.