June has surprised me. Since we homeschool Dylan, I had expected June to be a regular month, with none of the end-of-the-school-year busyness that I knew from the years when Sean and Hayley were in elementary school.
You know how life goes on day by day and you don’t really think about how all the bits and pieces add up until the day (or month) they all pop up, demanding attention? That’s what happened this month.
Ever since we moved to the city, there’ve been so many learning opportunities for Dylan, and we’ve taken advantage of many of them. Which is why June has been crazy busy, up until this past weekend. (I’ve taken the past few days off simply to rest from all the go-go-go.)
It started with Dylan’s first ever piano recital. He started lessons in January and enjoys the piano (but getting him to practice? That’s another story.) One thing we’ve noticed about Dylan is, he doesn’t get performance anxiety. His main worry before the recital? That he wouldn’t know where the middle C was on the piano, as he’d be using a different piano.
Luckily, each of the kids got a chance to practice their songs once. He found out where middle C was (Ward did try to tell him, it’s in the middle, but apparently Dylan finds middle C by the key’s placement under the name of the piano maker on the piano’s front panel). Personally, as someone who doesn’t play the piano, I think I’d be worried about where middle C was, too.
After the piano recital, things kind of snowballed. First there was his after-school opera program performance at the Canadian Opera Company. It’s an extraordinary ten-week program during which the kids learn from opera professionals how to put on a mini opera. On the final day of the program, we trekked over to the Joey & Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre and watched Dylan playing Stagehand 1 in the production of Theseus and the Minotaur. Not a big role, but then again, as Dylan pointed out, the Stagehands were the minotaur.
The next day, he participated in Kidsplay 2013; Kidsplay is a fabulous event in which homeschool kids write and perform in several plays. The Big Day took place on a Saturday, with dress rehearsals starting at 1:00. The curtain opened at 7:00.
Long day. But fun. Ward did the lighting and I assisted with the props (I guess that makes me a stagehand, too …)
The following week, Dylan performed in the after-school opera program again, only this time it was a big performance at the Four Seasons Centre. This final session of the after-school opera program had been held at four different locations, and all four locations put on their operas in the Richard Bradshaw Ampitheatre. Not the same as being on the main stage, but still very nice.
Waiting for rehearsals to begin at Four Seasons Centre
Ward and I decided to volunteer backstage (in other words, watch over the kids in the “green room” when they weren’t performing). Parent volunteers got to stand on the side of the audience when their child’s opera was being performed, so we got great “seats” (stands?) for Theseus and the Minotaur.
The week after (that is, last week) was the biggie. Dylan started ballet and creative movement last fall, and at the end of every school year his dance school puts on a dance festival over a period of four days. Dylan was dancing in four dances, and as a result we were there all four days. He danced in two shows a day from Wednesday to Friday and (or so we had thought) the final show on Saturday night. Seats were limited, so we volunteered for the shows for which we didn’t have tickets (it gave us a chance to watch from the side of the stage – are you seeing a pattern here?).
Hair all slicked back
On Saturday afternoon I got a call from the school. It was 1:27. “Will Dylan be here soon?”
It turned out he was also performing in the 1:00 pm show! Ward was on the Don Valley Parkway, on his way home from teaching his Saturday morning classes. Dylan and I were still in our PJs. I didn’t know how we would make it there in time – it normally takes us 25 minutes to get there by car. Ward picked us up at 1:35 (the times are SO crystal clear in my mind. And yes, just call me quick-change artist).
Amazingly, we got there just in time, despite a sudden and heavy downpour of rain and the ensuing traffic slowness. We dashed into the building at 1:55. Dylan had enough time to change into his costume, and then they were calling for the dancers for his dance to line up to go on stage. (It turns out others were also confused by the schedule – five dancers missed the performance entirely.)
Later that night, we sat in the audience for the final show of the performance and watched Dylan dance as a mythical creature in In Search of the Lost Chord (they danced to the song Om from the Moody Blues album).
It’s been a crazy busy time. I’d say chaotic, but that implies a certain mad, uncomfortable rushed feeling. June hasn’t been like that at all. Crazy. Busy. But pleasant. And now – done!