I couldn't figure it out. Chicken has been with the dance place since she was a baby-- literally, three years old, barely potty-trained, and passive aggressive as hell. Anyway-- she was a baby, and I volunteered for the recital-- a little bit. How a little bit? Well, I did some of the costumes during the rehearsals. Yup. I spent hours gluing yellow feathers to a yellow headband in order to make a little kid look like a baby duck.
And for years, that's how I participated. I got my kids there, I sewed if they needed it, and I yarned like a madwoman if they didn't.
Because... wait for it...
I taught high school, and the recital came during the last two weeks of high school, and graduation was a surly, raging, rabid monkey on my back and I had to beat that fucker to death or it would kill me.
So anyway--for about thirteen years that's why I didn't do it. And then, once I no longer had to worry about graduation, my oldest two children had to worry, and thus, I worried with them. So nope-- no backstage mom for me.
This year, I had no excuse, and the dance leader called me up and begged.
And I said, "Uhm, sure."
Because, you know, I'm so comfortable with other people's barely potty-trained children.
Anyway-- yes. That was me, helping them with shoes, helping them with costumes, trying to watch my own kids dance. It was two parts awesome, one part, "Oh crap, I've got so much to DO!" and a whole other part, "Amy, Amy, what are you doing here?"
But I survived, and in the middle of it, I met Izzie.
Izzie is three. She has dark hair and dark eyes and a distinctly Latina cast to her skin, and Izzy takes no prisoners. She is going to the movies and she is going with her aunt, and we all need to listen to her and do this right and give her stamps in her book and let her color, because she needs to tell us about the movies and she's so excited about the movies and do we want to know what picture she colored and why?
I sort of fell in love a little with Izzy. And then, just when I was wondering why she seemed so familiar, I got a text from Mary, My Mary, and Nobody Else Shall Have Her, and I replied with,
Hello. I think I've found the little girl you used to be.
To which Mary replied, Is she bossy? Does she like to please the grown ups? Does she like to manage?
I looked up to see Izzy, stoutly telling another little girl what color crayon to take.
It IS you! I told her happily, and Mary had to agree.
So yeah. It was sort of a pain in the ass, and who has the time?
But that's just like being an Art Docent, or helping Mate, in any capacity, coach soccer.
I got back so much more than I put in. I know I couldn't possibly have done this sooner, but I'm grateful for the chance to do it now!