We are in the midst of Eisteddfod season. It’s like Shark week on Discovery. A feeding frenzy, if only for all the parents who are running around like headless chickens trying to prepare their little ones for numerous performances in front of the judges. Our regional Eisteddfod happens every two years and provides a platform for kids to take to the stage in a wide array of performing and other art forms. They receive feedback from people who is nothing like Simon Cowell and walk away feeling like they’ve accomplished something. Unless off course they really suck…
Princess is one of those kids who wants to do everything as long as it happens in front of an audience. Her dream is to become an actress, one that I support wholeheartedly, as she’s been our little drama queen since birth.
Princess is halfway through her list of entries for this year’s Eisteddfod. She was half of a two-part play about a woman who wanted to lose weight using some wonder drug. It’s obvious that their choice of play was totally unrelated to anything happening in real life…In their final practice runs, I lurked around, and being there, gave them a few pointers. To my surprise they listened and even employed some of my advise. Then came the morning of the performance. I was transfixed with their natural talent and it seemed like someone flicked a switch on Princess because she radiated joy. And when the reviews came in, they struck gold! More like tripple gold! The judges thought they were pretty good without me having to throw money at them or threaten their loved ones.
Pride is such an inefficient word in times like these, so I’ll just confess that I lost another two buttons of my shirt as my chest expanded. I was whistling back to the office and retained my chirpy mood even whilst interacting with some of the idiots I have to work with. Arriving home later that day I realized there was no time for celebration. Princess was already very busy with rehearsals of her one-woman-show about a little girl who sees her dog being run over by a car. I didn’t know at the time, but I walked onto the stage as defined by the pillars of our passage leading from the study.
She was very excited and promptly asked me to direct. Again. She believes that her Dad had something to do with their stand-out performance earlier that day. I’ll take what I get. Besides, I had so much fun doing it the first time, I dumped my bag on the spot, poured me a glass and went to sit in my imaginary director’s chair.
Lights. Camera. Action.
There is something great about giving advise to someone and see them run with it. To have a teenage daughter whom still considers her dad to be someone who knows stuff. I have to admit that I didn’t enjoy seeing my Princess struggle through the various stages of loss and sorrow with grief and a million tears, albeit fake ones. I don’t like to see her cry. She needs to be happy. All the time.
She told me she also has to open assembly on Wednesday morning. She chose to talk about vanity and use the two-role play as the springboard for the discussion. She gave me the Puss-in-Boots treatment when she asked me whether I would be willing to write a little something for her. Dad was the hero, again, because I consider myself something of a writer wannabe.
During my short stint as playwright, Dude decided to get in on the action when he came running from his room with big enough eyes that would make him the poster child for the art of Margaret Keane. He was trying to tell us something but chose to use mimicry as his means of communication, mainly because he was in too much pain. It became apparent that something was wrong with his braces and the reason why it became apparent was his continuous use of an almost audible “Shouch! Shouch! Shouch!” (which is a combination of the words shit and ouch) accompanied by a finger in his mouth.
Captain Dad sat the boy down, grabbing the biggest flashlight I could find and shoved the beam of light down his throat. His mouth was wide enough for me to see the food he ate earlier that evening, rolling around in the acid of his stomach, and more importantly, the source of his torture. The problem was that I’m no dentist, nor do I kill lions, so I don’t own any tools of the trade. I did have a toothpick. Actually the Wife brought the toothpick. Moments later we were able to fix his discomfort without damaging the braces (I hope) and we fell down on the couch. The wife expressed my mood when she sighed and sad: “I hope that’s all for tonight.”
Fortunately the rest of the evening were relatively uneventful so we went to bed. It was a busy evening after a hectic day. Captain Dad could retire his mask and cape.
I’m sitting here with a wide, stupid grin as I recall the events of last night. I was a good night. It was a night where I could experience being part of my family as we went through the motions of being just that…A family. Another evening of being together, all twisted up in one another, just the four of us. Laughing our way through this crazy life.