Monday, May 19, 2014

Running Away with the Circus

This the time of year when it feels like everything is ending.  With the school year drawing to a close, our schedules are filled with graduation parties, celebratory picnics, concerts and performances.  So many, in fact, that I completely neglected to share Cael's recent accomplishment-- one that seemed especially fitting given my son's unique temperament.

In our town, it is a long standing tradition that the Kindergarten class put on a "circus" each May, with all of the kids playing different roles, and from the first mention of the event, Cael had strong opinions about who he should play. 

"There are going to be tigers and tiger tamers and body builders and dogs on bikes and acrobats and clowns and snakes and other stuff!  Oh, and ring misters!"

"Ring misters?"

"Yeah, like a man with rings.  It's a circus thing, Mom."

Needless to say, his limited understanding might have kept him from being a ring "mister", but he was very excited when he came home with the news that he would be a body builder.

"I'm a body builder, Mom.  Probably because of my big muscles!"

"Wow, that's cool!  I'm sure they did that because you're so strong."

"Yeah, but there are other kids that are body builders and they don't seem very strong.  I don't get it."

I didn't even go there.  Opening the door to the PC world of equal Kindergarten opportunities would also mean explaining why there were girls serving as ring "misters", so we refocused our energy on preparing for the show.

Or at least that was my intention.  Pregnancy brain, however, made me forget nearly every reminder of what to send for him and when, so when the day came for the first performance, Cael's body builder costume was made all the more unique with the addition of his brother's dramatically undersized white t-shirt that showed off his belly and his equally oversized new black shorts.  I promised him I'd pick up a larger white shirt before the nighttime performance, but Cael was happy to show off his body builder abs while "bending steel". 

It always works so nicely when the kids embrace my shortcomings.

When Cael emerged for the opening parade, we were struck first by the dramatic improvement of a well-fitting shirt, but second by the way his prosthetic (balloon) biceps had shifted from his arms to his neck and shoulders, causing him to look less like a body builder and more like a hunchback.

Or maybe a teenager perpetually shrugging. 

Finally, it was time for the show, and we spent an hour or so watching all of the area Kindergarteners play their first role and act out really cute routines.

Cael's portion of the program was predictably fun-- lots of bicep curls, sit-ups and general Kindergarten awesomeness, accompanied by the song "I Like to Move It", which all of the children think originated with the movie Madagascar, but I knew was a song by Reel 2 Real back in the 90's, which made me feel hopelessly old in addition to hopelessly irritating, bothering the parents and students around me by squirming to get a good shot and being generally disruptive with my gigantic camera.

What I was struck with most, however, was the quantity of children-- all five K classes were represented, and the sheer volume of adorable was possibly enough to impregnate the women in the audience. 

Lucky for me, I already had that covered.

For his part, Graham alternated between well-behaved and pouty, as he wanted desperately to join the dancers and tigers and snakes (oh my!) on the stage.  By the time the performance was all done, however, he had realized that he will get to take part in his own circus in two short years, and was staking his claim on the best roles.

"Mommy, Cael told me I shouldn't be a dog on a bike because I still use my training wheels.  And he said my nose isn't big enough to be an elephant.  I thought I had a big nose!"

"I think your nose is perfect.  And I think the teachers will help you choose what to be when the time comes."


Ten bucks says he's a ring "mister".  Anyone want in on that?  Step right up...

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Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.