I have actually said the following words to another human being, and MEANT them: "Please go full glitz on her, with super-dramatic eyes." We again owe Syd's beautiful hair and make-up to the students of the Hair Arts Academy, who always generously donate their time and skills to making all the models runway-ready.
I have become adept at packing a full day of nourishing kid food, none of which will stain one's clothing: hard-boiled eggs, string cheese, graham crackers, tangerines, granola bars, baby carrots.
I carry safety pins in my pocket.
I also carry tiny toys:
I photograph the dress rehearsal, since I can't sit in the second row during the performance:
|Syd's signature move this year was a kind of jump+spreadeagle pose. She spent a lot of time airborne.|
In fact, I spend most of the performance standing right here, just behind the curtain at stage right. It's a great spot, since Syd and I can watch all the activity behind the curtain at stage left, consisting of the stage manager and all the models about to walk:
I also know that there's no point in even trying to leave the theater for the two hours between dress rehearsal and our final call-time. Much better to hang out in the theater, reading or playing with tiny toy dogs in the balcony, watching the aerial silks and hula hoop teams at their own dress rehearsals:
Four years into this fashion show, I am well into the realization that this kid owns the stage. I am always so, so nervous for her that one of these years I may well have a pre-show heart attack, but as I'm sitting here at the table writing, with Syd sitting next to me working on her cursive/geography, I just asked her if she ever felt nervous before she walked.
"No." Didn't even have to think about it.
"Well, what do you feel?"
"Excited. And as soon as I'm done, I wish I could do it again ten more times!"
There you go, then.
Fortunately, aerial silks always opens the show, and their performances are so awesome (in the literal sense of the word) that my pending panic attack gets settled down enough that life can continue. I have to share both of these performances with you, both because they'll make your jaw drop (seriously, watch them full screen for the full effect), and because this is the group from whom Will takes lessons. These strong, brave girls and women are her role models:
Side note: While chatting with an acquaintance yesterday, I discovered that his daughter was the star of last year's aerial silks performance, the one who did all the impressive spins and falls and so stunned my daughters that they immediately asked for me to find someone to teach them how to do this amazing thing, whatever it was.
"Ah, YOU!" I said to him. "You are THE reason that I've spent hundreds of dollars on aerial silks classes in the past year!"
Syd, as she's been every year since she was four, was the model who opened the show. I love simply watching her performance, of course, but to me it's even better knowing all the work that she put into it, the way she has her marks and her cues memorized, her well-rehearsed routine that she practiced and timed and perfected over many weeks, the way she smiles openly at the audience:
And yes, she seriously would have done it ten more times, just that way, although I was pretty happy to be done with it after the once:
Much better, to me, to sit in the audience and watch the hula hoopers--
--and the Trashion runway walk, and to follow the Jefferson Street Marching Band up and down Kirkwood afterwards, random sidewalk cafe patrons taking cell phone videos of us as we passed:
And that's it for this year! The kid has her memories to sustain her until next year, and I have the happy satisfaction of a job well done, a major accomplishment accomplished, and the knowledge of a well-deserved rest from this particular project for the next several months.
Although... as I was chatting with my acquaintance about the show, he said, "Just imagine next year. Not only will you have one kid on the runway, but you could also have two kids in the silks performance."
You know, I simply won't think about that for a few months.