My son, Sam, has quickly found his niche.
Well, a kind of niche.
I’ve told lots of people – hell I’ll tell anyone who asks – that the boy has near perfect pitch. Not that he can tell you the notes he’s singing, but get him started on a song he’ll complete it, on-key, no auto-tune required.
So imagine my surprise and slight stressed consternation when he got a large role in the school play this week.
I should explain a little . . . there’s a really amazing theater troop that travels the country from, of all places, Missoula, Montana. (You heard me right, Montana!) They show up at the school on a Monday, the kids try out for parts, and they immediately cast and begin rehearsals. They hold the play on Saturday.
All four of my kids have done it before. Abbi was even the lead one year. They’re kids’ plays, usually fairy tales, but with some horrifically bent and funny take on them. Abbi’s was the Little Mermaid. Hannah, Noah and Sam all were in Sleeping Beauty.
This year, Sam’s doing it alone, and he did it because he really wanted to.
I haven’t seen the script, nor the play, but he’s a photographer in The Tortoise and the Hare. I picked him up tonight, roughly 8pm, from the school. He’s normally hitting the shower and readying for bed by now, but because of the schedule Sam’s facing homework and then the nighttime routine.
“I’m onstage almost the whole play,” Sam says grinning at me.
“That’s awesome, little man!”
“Yeah . . . although I didn’t remember all my lines today.”
“Well, it’s only Wednesday, Bud, you’ll get it.”
“Yeah…” his voice trailed off.
“You were playing your video games last night instead of learning your lines, weren’t you.”
“You didn’t go to Umbridge,” was my response – a typical response when my kids say “ummm…”
“Well, yeah. But I won’t tonight.”
“Nope…you have homework to do.”
“Can I have a midnight snack, Dad?”
I looked at him, ready to not cave in and tell him that he’d had McDonald’s – his sister brought it to rehearsal for him – but couldn’t. He’d eaten at 5pm, danced, sang, and run around. I was still ready to say “no” when he said:
“They gave us quite a workout.”
“Yeah…up, down, up, down. They had us sing so much I almost hate singing now.”
“You hate singing?”
“Dad . . . I said almost!”
“I’m not made of hey, Sam.”
“Oh . . . Dad?”
“Yeah, little man?”
“Can I get an extra snack for lunch? I need something to eat before we start rehearsal.”
I had just bought healthy snacks, we had tons of fruit in the house. Even though I’d made brownies, I asked him:
“I could put an apple in your lunch.”
“Mmmm. Okay…although . . . I’d bet even money I’d be even happier with Strawberries!”
Even money. Where does he pick up this stuff? Laughing, I look at him and say “even money, huh?”
“Yep . . . I looooove me some strawberries!”
He finished his homework, I gave him a cup of Cheerios to snack while he worked, and put him to bed. I had a video project I was completing and was about to slap together their lunches. My inclination was to wash an apple and stuff it in his bag.
Then I saw the strawberries, and smiling, I started to cut them and put them in the baggie. He may looooove him some Strawberries, but any kid who talks that intelligently in my house . . . deserves to get them.