Monday, October 17, 2011

A Little Yellow Fairy...Me Being Me

So I just got back from play rehearsal for "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever." I was in this play several years ago and thought it was so much fun that I decided to do it again, only this time I'm performing and also helping to direct. I'm a sucker for Christmas plays with kids anyway. I started thinking about the first time I ever performed in front of an audience and it had to be when I was in the 2nd grade.

I was a yellow fairy.

My mom constructed the costume of yellow crepe paper ribbons wrapped around my body like a mummy. She made my wings out of coat hangers covered in yellow tissue paper. I had yellow ribbons tied around my ankles. They wouldn't have shown up in my hair because I was a cotton topped blond, so Mom rigged me a yellow crepe paper and tissue crown. I thought, for once in my young life, that I was pretty awesome looking.

The event of my first performance was on May 1, May Day. It used to be celebrated, but not so much anymore except maybe in Russia. I think I read that somewhere. Anywho, a tall pole was stuck in the ground and long pastel streamers were attached to the top. The object was for little fairies, lady bugs, butterflies, and such to dance around the May pole.

Let me just explain here. I have always loved to dance, even as a little bitty girl. I did, not just around the pole, but around the playground as the audience of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends watched their little darlings perform. You have to understand that I was the only one who broke rank and left the playing field.

But I was in the groove. I swirled, did cartwheels, hopped, ran, swooped down on the ground and just flew. And as I was doing all this interpretive movement, my costume that my mother had so carefully created began to come apart. The first to go was the crown. Crowns and cartwheels don't mix. Then the crepe paper began to unravel. Soon, I was down to my underwear and yellow wings attached by shoe laces to my scrawny little shoulders.

Did that stop me, you might ask? Heck, no. I heard people clapping and laughing. It was great! They loved me. Little did I know that my mother, who was pretty much mortified, was desperately trying to catch me as she collected my leavings of yellow paper scattered all over the school yard.

Finally the wings yielded to my wind swept frolicking, and I left them behind. So here I was, a tiny dancer, performing to an audience who was laughing hysterically. By then, I was dressed only in my white underwear with yellow flowers. I loved every minute of it and was not happy when my mother finally caught up to me. You see, I was a really fast kid. Mom was out of breath, and I could pretty much tell that she wasn't happy.

"But why, Mommy? Why do I have to stop? Everyone likes me. Don't you hear them?" I told her as I wiggled like a little puppy to get away from her grip. And do you know what she did, this wonderful mother of mine?

She let me go. She let me finish my dance as we made our way to the car. She let me savor my moment. She never let on that I shouldn't be dancing around in just my underwear. I was eight years old, and I was a beautiful yellow fairy. She let me be me.

And she has always allowed that all my life. She has always let me be me. And sometimes, I know, that wasn't easy for her.


Not Hannah said...

This? Is just perfect, Mama. Beautiful.

Anonymous said...

That was a good momma.

Coleen Brooks said...

Thanks, Heather.

Judie said...

Awe, this is a wonderul story. I can just see you whirling, twirling, skipping and dancing.

And what a good mom. Would we could all be like her.

Thanks for sharing.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

A star at eight! If you always "leave them laughing", you will always be remembered.

Good luck with your latest show. This time don't trust in the crepe paper or make sure you are wearing new underwear.

Drena said...

What a wonderful lesson for all of us!