"Mom. Maybe we can bring the cassette player downstairs so I can keep listening while I get ready for my recital."
I wonder if I will ever have a better, more unexpected parenting moment than getting my son ready for his first dance recital to the wobbly-sounding tunes of dump-rescued cassette recordings.
Saturday was a huge day. It was Dance Recital Day. Fortunately it was also other things, too, like the reception for the Recology Art Exhibition, because it's a long day when the thing you're most excited about is at the end.
In the morning, Marc and Wyatt worked on some paper airplanes while I was at the gym and did some errands. Once I was home, we opted for an early lunch. Wyatt learned how to make tuna melts.
After lunch, Wyatt and I headed off to Tunnel Avenue to check out the art show (while Marc went on a super-secret errand to buy flowers for after the recital). We enjoyed the art show just as much as the last one. Wyatt loved Carrie Hott's exhibit the most, and Nathan Byrne's almost as much. The projects were so amazing that we had to keep reminding ourselves that every single thing, down to the paint, had been sourced from the dump. The "free table" was really fun this time--lots of cassette tapes. Wyatt chose to bring home two of them, a commercial recording of Diana Ross, and a home recording of Lionel Richie. He has been listening to both of them, punctuated occasionally with Marc's tape of The Cure's Greatest Hits, nonstop.
When we returned from Recology, it was showtime. Or at least time to great ready for showtime.
Thanks to the direction (and infinite patience) of guest teacher and choreographer Byb Chanel Bibene, Wyatt and his classmates performed a dance evoking the Mbouanda Celebration in the Niari, a department in the Republic of the Congo. In addition to having a solo, Wyatt was really looking forward to the body paint Byb promised to do for him, and he was awfully excited to hang out backstage without Marc or me and do crafts until his group's turn.
The recital was everything (and more) you'd expect from a performance of 160 children. We were thoroughly entertained for the entire 75 minutes. Wyatt's class performed the final dance, and Wyatt was the first one on stage. He couldn't have looked happier or have been more attentive to his performance. I smiled so hard for him that my cheeks started to hurt.
After the show, as Wyatt led me backstage to get his flip-flops and flannel shirt, he explained how fun it was backstage, how hidden the stage door was, and how I didn't know where anything was, but he did. And he explained his body paint came from a big jar that Byb had brought with him.
"Look. Byb drew Congolese suns on my front and back. He didn't even have to use any brushes. I can't wait for the next show. When IS next year's show?"