We went to the School Christmas Play yesterday. Me, my husband and my parents.
Blissfully sunny day. Walked the 20 yards to school. View across white frosted fields to the downs in the distance, the tufts of Chanctonbury Ring sticking up like a little boy's unbrushed hair in the morning.
Hello's to all. Introducing my parents. Am inexplicably moved that they are Alive and Here.
Go into classroom where Stage is.
Need to explain. Our school has 61 pupils. There is no hall or gymnasium. There are 3 classrooms for 7 classes. The School Christmas Play will take place in the Infants classroom , with the entire school on stage All The Time.
The whole school play thing is the same each year. But we love it.
First we get to sit on chairs that make our knees come up round our ears.
Hard. Concrete hard. Then we get to sit veryveryveryclose to the person next to us. Have to decide with neighbour whether to sit forward, or backward. Not enough room for side by side.
Then have to wait A Very Long Time for the play to begin.
The Performance Began...
My 3 younger children were all in the play. Eldest Of Them was dressed in Crimson Velvet with jaunty little cap on head. Looked simply marvellous. Middle was in Narrator Costume (bollocks really, but still looked gorgeous). Youngest (4) was a Tree. Yup. A Tree. Had on cream coloured pillow case with leaves on it. Brilliant!
Well. My Cup Overfloweth. The four of us sat in the front row (we had trodden on the faces of women and children to get there) and cried for most of the hour's performance.
Eldest had to do a solo. We had no idea, but he had stepped in for someone who was ill. He was Superb. So, cried then.
Then Middle got up to do Narrating and was simply wonderful and looked so damned pretty that cried again.
Then Little got up to do Tree Dance. He punched the air as he got up, as if to say, 'YEAH! Bring it on.....!'
'Tree Dance' consisted of walking back and forth for duration of song. No room for acrobatics as 50 others on stage at the same time. In not very big room. But cried again.
Kept passing old tissues up and down the row, as we all needed a Good Blow.
Clapped and whistled and boo'd in all the right places.
At the end all (6 of them) the Year 6's sang a song. With Eldest smack in the middle in his Crimson Velvet. Cried again.
Clapped and Clapped. Hands and noses raw.
Came out into late afternoon low sun. Parents everywhere smiling and laughing. The occasional red nose and hand clutching sodden tissues.
We walked back home, 20 yards. Children holding our hands. Back home for tea and a roaring fire.
Lucky, lucky me.