Madison’s First Starring Role

Cornerstone Early Education Center’s Christmas Program 2012

I can't believe it's Christmas already.

I can’t believe it’s Christmas already.

The program was set to begin at 3:30. School finishes at 2:35.

The program was set to begin at 3:30. School finishes at 2:35. Five minutes before the end of the last period, I turned off the air conditioners, packed my school bag, locked the doors from the outside, and did everything else to ensure I’d be able to leave campus as soon as possible. I made it back to Mauka at about 3:15. The staff reserved seats for Lynnette and I in the front row. I don’t know why, but I think it had something to do with Madison’s role as Mary. Anyway, the highlight of the afternoon came before the program ever started. One of the staff members tried to lead the audience in a choreographed Christmas song. Many of the hand motions were similar to those which can be found in certain hula dances. Lynnette used to dance hula, I’m told. So as the lady went on with the instructions, Lynnette kind of jumped ahead with an advanced hula move that wasn’t where the instructor was going; Lynnette tried to correct herself. Too late. I saw it and said “Whoa, the old hula instincts kicking in?” I said. “Stop it,” she said. “Sorry, ah, hulu school,” I continued. “That’s terrible, knock it off,” she sad. Notice how she didn’t deny it.

At Madison's school, it's not so much Christmas as it is Jesus' birthday. I don't mind.

At Madison’s school, it’s not so much Christmas as it is Jesus’ birthday. I really have to give the staff at Madison’s school credit. They’ve got a bunch of toddlers that they’ve got to outfit, choreograph, and teach. Those are a bunch of unpredictable moving pieces. The program is not intricate in the least. I suppose that’s out of necessity. You can ask 3 and 4 year olds to sing two or three songs, but that’s about it. Anything more than that and you’re going to have too much down time. I teach high school students and I don’t know how long they’d be able to focus their attention on a Christmas Program. Eventually, it would descend into madness. My favorite part of the program – other than watching Mad, of course – is looking at the kids who have either lost interest or have simply decided not to participate. My personal favorites are the kids – usually boys – who have that stare off into the distance as all the music and dancing goes on around them. What are they thinking about?

No speaking role for Madison this year.

No speaking role for Madison this year. Joseph and Mary spoke last year, but this year, none of the children had live speaking roles. It’s probably for the sake of fairness. The alternative was a video of all of the students reciting lines from the story of Jesus’ birth. I suppose this way, everyone had a shot at a speaking role. It also provided a couple of laughs as some of the children spoke too loudly or mispronounced a few words or stared blankly into the camera. Madison nailed her line. When the video cut out, she spun around and smiled at Lynnette and I.

Maybe Madison inherited Lynnette's hula instincts and penchant for dance.

Maybe Madison inherited Lynnette’s hula instincts and penchant for dance. I’ll tell you what she inherited for sure: my voice. During her class song, Lynnette and I could hear Madison shouting the words to the song above the singing of her classmates and the music coming in over the speakers. She was belting it out the same way I do when driving up H2 late at night or early in the morning. Whenever Madison sings in the car, there’s always a level of restraint. She tries to say in tune and time with the song playing. Not today. She hit the kind of physical histrionics most often pulled off by the frontmen of rock bands. I haven’t looked at the video yet, but I hope that her voice can be heard on film.

I meant for this entry to run a little longer, but

Merry Christmas, everyone!



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