Not Quite R & R

By the simple count of days, the summer of 2010 is half over, as of today. The Parent Imperfect finds this hard to believe or face. As she realized this calendar fact in the car, yesterday, Connie showed herself, once more, to be wise beyond her years.

“If you’re waiting for something, time seems to go by so slowly, but when you’re having a good time, it’s over, even before you know it.”

Ms. C. has been having a good time. The weekend, her three weeks of Broadway Boot Camp comes to a climax with three public showings of Thoroughly Modern Millie. Last night’s opening night was cause for much excitement, bordering on panic, as all preparations had to be perfect.

The PI didn’t help things by not-so-gently pushing C. to finish her submission to the “Read Your Way to Fenway” program of the Boston Public Library. This unique program offers Boston’s children a chance to earn a trip to a Red Sox game by reading books over the summer and writing about the one that most catches their eye. In C’s case, this was the third book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The same series that occupied her brother’s attention through third and fourth grades has now taken ahold of Ms. Connie.

Just as the chaos peaked, brother Vince arrived on the scene, fresh from three days camping and doing white-water rafting in Maine. Boy rafting with mostly boys…Girl in a play with mostly girls…hmmm. Connie was curious about his experience, but not about to let it take her opening night preparations out of the family spotlight. Vince was less-than-excited about having fed Maine’s mosquitoes for three nights, but had clearly found something that he loved on the Kennebec River. Hearing Vince’s excited telling of the tale, the PI was only partially sad not to have shared the experience with his growing son.

Despite all of the rushing around to finish and submit the book report, Connie did manage to get herself ready and to herd the PI into the car to get her to the theater by 5:45 for her 7PM show. A roomful of family and friends saw 18 girls and one courageous boy do a great job with a complicated story about a young woman from Kansas who comes to New York in search of love and fortune in the 1920s. New air conditioning units in the theater had transformed the former Hyde Park sweat lodge into a pleasant place to spend a Friday night.

C. had a chance to shine as a young Chinese girl doing terrible things in the city in hopes of being able to bring her mother to join her from Hong Kong. Luckily, in the end Bun Foo redeems herself. True to form, C. could only talk about the few little things that she didn’t get exactly right in her performance (Her slight limp in the second half of the show had resulted from a backstage fall in which she had almost too literally followed the stage advice to “break a leg.”)  Seeing her in a long, red dress with her hair in a chopstick bun was more than worth the price of admission for the PI and Liz. Even Vince, who had planned to spend the evening “hanging out” with friends, showed faint signs of enjoyment.

Connie will have a much-needed week off after her performance weekend. Things won’t, however, slow down a lot for anyone during the second half of the summer. If the PI meant to set up a time of rest and relaxation after a year of the meat grinder that is the nation’s oldest public school, he might have done a bit better.

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