It was what I hadn't done.
Her birthday blog post.
* Apologies to you, Internets. I am halfway through writing this thing and it is long. I guess that's what happens when you don't blog for a while? Go ahead and grab a beverage...you're going to need it.*
I suppose I need to find that missing birthday post now, don't you?
On February 6, I finally had to face the fact that my baby girl had both feet in the teenage world. She turned 14 and I also had to admit she was going to start high school next year. I'm sorry, what? Surely, the math must be wrong. She is my baby girl. The one who loves to sit and read and fly below the radar.
Ahhh..time waits for not one single soul.
Allow me to fill you in on her busy life since we last spoke.
In September, she came home from school and informed me that her chorus teacher suggested she try out for the local theater group and audition for the Christmas Carol musical. I went to the website and was immediately overwhelmed. I sarcastically shot back, "And is she going to go with us to this so called audition?" The reply after school the next day was an absolute yes.
Fast forward a week or two and we are two parents and a school chorus teacher at a church....in a room...with over a hundred kids. We had to fill out an application with all her experience. A theater resume, if you will. One of the lead volunteers running the show is hollering something about "Please note on your application if any rehearsals interfere with cotillion." Are you kidding me? I discovered that a majority of these kids auditioning went to fine art schools, took lessons hours a day, and lived for this way of life. Well, crap. I knew right then and there we were in over our heads.
I asked Makenna if she was sure she wanted to do this. She was firm in her decision and when they took her back with a small group to learn a song, sing it, and speak with a British accent, she took off without looking back.
Then we waited for a couple of weeks. We checked the website every single day (okay, maybe a few dozen times a day) to see if maybe, just maybe, she made the ensemble and could sing in the background. We pretty much psyched ourselves and Makenna not to make it. (Seriously, the crowd of children auditioning was just crazy.) Imagine my surprise when I opened the website one morning before school and there was her name! In the ensemble. Woot!
I took her to the first practice and when she got in the truck afterwards, she literally glowed. She had found her people. People who loved the sing and who were really good at doing that.
It was a commitment that we supported and she never missed a rehearsal/practice. In fact, she was in district honors chorus for school and after her performance, we literally ran from the building to get across town so she could make the last of practice. She didn't want to miss a minute. As The Man was in a funky shift work kind of deal, there were many nights with me and my son sitting in the Tahoe for hours while she sang inside. He was smooth and never gave me issue. When I would take him inside to potty, I would tiptoe to the door and listen to the group singing. I was just blown away.
One night she jumped up in the truck with this huge pile of papers. I said...what is this? She said a copy of the script. Know what I got it? I GOT A SPEAKING PART! Yes, she did. She had four words to say in her very first play. I didn't know this at the time, but it's kind of a good thing to pull that off.
The week of performance, we moved from practice place to the theater itself. Wow. The Imperial Theater was a sight to behold. The history in this place was just amazing. I sat with other parents in the dark seats and watched the magic of pulling a play together. I heard the director holler insults and have tantrums of the Hollywood variety (or what I assume to be the diva attitude of Hollywood). I didn't know if they were going to be able to have a play by week's end, but they sure enough pulled it off.
She missed two days of school doing day performances for local schools. (I found out later this was the dress rehearsals for the weekend play and the days were excused from school as they qualified for public volunteers hours.) Every single show was better than the last. I pulled Stage Mom duty a couple of times. The kids are put up in a room over the lobby. It is dank, old, smelly, and a way to keep them corralled. They would come down the stairs, go down the alley to the back of the theater when it was their turn to perform. I graciously declined staying up in the room with thirty plus kids running around on adrenaline. My kid was potty trained and knew how to act. I had no patience for the others. So, I did alley duty. No kid was allowed to go down the alley without an adult watching and protecting. During day performances, I became great friends with the coffee shop next door. The Sunday afternoon performance of alley duty? I took a thermos of coffee.
Our family dressed up in Sunday finery and attended the Saturday evening performance. Paige said it was more fun watching me watch the play. By this time, I knew it pretty much word for word and I was leaned forward in my seat watching each scene intently, mouthing along with the talented actors on stage. I sang every song that was performed (we still go around the house singing a favorite or two to this day). I almost couldn't see my child on stage because of the tears of pride...or was it exhaustion? (Performance weeks makes for long hours. I'm talking midnight here.)
She had been bitten. By the Stage Bug. She has found a new love called the stage. It was an amazing experience and she was off to audition for more more more!!! Since then, she has auditioned for two other plays, but sadly didn't make either one. There are more to be had and acting camp is in her future this summer. I have a feeling we'll be doing the Christmas Carol again this year.
Miss Thing has also discovered a desire to sew. To make things she can wear and show her fashion flair. She can't follow a pattern, but she loves a good you of tube tutorial. She has claimed the playroom/guest room as her sewing room and she will lock herself away for hours whipping up some creation. She saves her money for trips to Joann's or Hobby Lobby so she can spend it all on fabric and craft supplies. The mall is an afterthought and she has no desire to hang out there with groups of kids her age.
She loves a wig, too. I believe her hair to be amazing and I refuse to let her cut it off or color it some ungodly color. The compromise is a wig. Santa brought her a bunch of Styrofoam mannequin heads so she could carefully place those wigs and whatever hat is popular at the moment (did I mention the love of hats, too?).
How many of you are Whovians out there? You know who you are. This child is a great fan of Doctor Who. Her favorite is the tenth doctor, but she tolerates the eleventh one well. I've watched a few episodes and it's a pretty interesting series. I decided to see if I could pull off a Doctor Who themed birthday party. She was giddy with excitement. We did loads of research and I was bummed that most everything Doctor Who related would have to be ordered from the UK. I put out a plea on the face of books and was shocked at how many Whovians came out of the woodwork to help me give this child an amazing party. The 11th Doctor wears a fez. She insisted everyone coming needed a fez. Gah. I didn't want to spend the money. What did she do? Bought the material and made them herself.
During the planning, it was discovered I was to have some surgery (more details in a later post). I was frantic to have this party fully ready to go as it was the night of my day surgery. I wasn't going to punish her because I had to get a few cuts. I had every detail taken care of before I left for the hospital that morning. The pizza was ordered, paid for, and to be delivered that evening. The cake was there and ready to go. All that had to happen was kids show up, Dad and Sissy chaperon, and let the fun happen!
I still can't believe it all went down without a hitch. I was still loopy from surgery, but managed to hang until around 9:00 p.m. The kids were fantastic and had an amazing time. The limit to invite was ten and nine made it. They were so sweet to me and I don't remember too awful much. (Yay for liquid painkillers!)
Now here comes the mushy part.
Makenna, you have no idea on this earth how proud I am of you. You make my heart swell with love and amazement at all you do. You have dreams and you're not afraid to chase them. If there is a task you want to do, you jump in with dogged determination and come out the other side successful. Your heart is generous and you love your family and friends fully. I am secretly sad that you will be grown and ready to chase those dreams into the world before I'm ready to let you go. I love you dearly and will always be the one in the audience clapping like crazy and telling everyone around me, "THAT'S MY BABY!!" Thank you. Thank you for letting me be a part of your dreams, your thoughts, your journey.
Now, are you all ready for a few pictures?
This was her microphone she wore. This was at a last late rehearsal. No pictures allowed of the play itself due to copyright issues. Bummer.
Here is Martha Cratchit. She is the eldest daughter of Bob. Big sister to Tiny Tim. This is the alley behind her to the back of the theater. Not a dark scary place at all.
Opening night! The weather was beautiful so The Man, Boy, and myself sat outside on park benches and waited to go inside.
Sunday performance. A little on the tired side. She sat downstairs outside with me to get a breath of fresh air.
Boy, does she look tired here! That would be snow from the last scene in her hair. She went through every performance and avoided that plastic snow until the last show. They seemed to try to use the last of it and everyone was covered.
Night before the party. We invited the tenth Doctor to attend in cut out form. This thrilled her beyond belief to have him there.
And here is the tardis. The time traveling machine. It and the Doctor now reside in her room.
So thankful for an amazing bakery that saw my vision and rose to the challenge of making a tardis cake. A picture is displayed on their face of book pages. The background is a galaxy gray with fairy dust mixed in to make it sparkle like stars. We all agree that we will never have a cake without fairy dust mixed in to make it sparkle.
Yes, this is The Shirt she has worn since she was 8 years old. I'm wondering if she'll be able to wear it for at least ten more years? That's my girl. The Birthday Princess.
Happy Birthday, Makenna!
We'll have to do a post on her wigs so you can see the different looks she has now. Thanks for sticking with me. There are quite a few things to catch up on so I'll be back very soon.