Monday, May 23, 2016

Master of the Ring

I know, I know.  I took a week off.  But I have a really good excuse this time, I promise.

Two, really.  The official reason is that we have purchased a new computer and we've been having trouble transferring over my 20,000 photos and plethora of graphic design projects, so I was unable to upload a post and accompanying photos.

The honest answer, however is that I'm just plain swamped.  It's funny how as school wraps up and we look forward to summer and a more carefree schedule, my calendar becomes more congested than the city pool on a hot day.  Each of the boys have several end-of-the-year activities, baseball, upcoming summer camps, I have a host of cakes to make on the horizon, and with a least three major family events in the next few weeks, I think I need a time out to download some of my own brain data to that new computer.

Thankfully, I got to start the season with the Kindergarten Circus.  If you live in my town, you may be familiar with this event.  For over forty years, the Kindergarten students have dressed up in groups and put on a cute little show for parents.  There are tigers, dogs on bikes, snakes, dancers, bodybuilders, and more.

Cael's bodybuilder musculature was legendary, so I was very excited to see what Graham would bring to the show.

I could see him being quite a cute little snake.  A tiger, even.  But I was very surprised when he decided early on that he wanted to be the Ringmaster.  With only one child from each class selected to be the Ringmaster, I encouraged him to pursue it but wondered, would my shy little Bubba be able to stand up in front of all of those people and not pee his pants, or run away and get tangled in a gaggle of popcorn vendors?

When the evening came, we were there early to secure my watch-out-my-son-is-the-star-of-this-show-and-I-have-a-really-big-camera seats.  There is no one star, of course, but I knew that Graham would be front and center during his bits, and come hell or high water, I was going to get a good shot.

And I know something about high water.

Cael played the part of the proud big brother with gusto, and Adler escaped Joel's clutches to entertain the crowd during the transitions.

I whipped from photo mode into video mode each time Graham stood up, only to find that he held his script so high that I couldn't actually see his face or hear him speak over the applause of the crowd.

But when the circus acts were up, my sweet boy waited patiently and looked so cute.  (He also looked bored out of his mind, but we'll pretend that was a character choice.)  Every time it was his turn to deliver his dialogue, he said it clearly despite his speech troubles, and smiled at me when he returned to his seat.

I am so proud of him.

Not only because he played his role well, but because I always think of Graham as being more like me.  I love a good challenge, and I love to prove to myself that I am do something that seems beyond my skill set.

Excluding, of course, the skill sets of athleticism, math, and parallel parking.  There's no hope for me there.

But when I was in third grade, I was cast as the lead character in a church musical.  Ours was a very large church with a successful music and drama program, so the performance was well attended.  When I looked out over the crowd and music began for my solo, I cracked.  Sang nothing.  

Stared blankly.


Unfortunately, that one moment stuck with me, and for the rest of my life I've dealt with crippling stage fright that started during my first exposure to being the center of (public) attention.  I still don't like it much, and I thought Graham didn't either, but I guess I was wrong.

I'm proud because he broke that cycle, and he did it with a cape, a smile, and a stick-on mustache.

Can't wait until May of 2020 when Adler wows the crowd under the big top.

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