Sunday, January 6, 2008

My life as a stage mom

St. John's had an Epiphany pageant this year instead of an Advent pageant to be more authentic to the day that the 3 Kings actually bring their gifts to the Christ child. Today, if you didn't know, IS the 12th day of Christmas, or Epiphany, or El Dia de Los Reyes, Day of the Kings, and this morning was our big pageant. I was very excited to have both Skyler and Reed in the pageant this year, Skyler as an angel and Reed as a sheep.

Skyler, moments after earning her wings.

Reed is totally psyched to be in the 100 degree sheep costume, lovingly made by Heather (holding Reed).

I love Christmas pageants, and find them to be inherently just hilarious. (One of my all time favorite literary scenes is the Christmas pageant in A Prayer for Owen Meany, which you really should read if you haven't). After all, we are asking a group of children dressed up in costumes to act out an incredibly holy event. It's just ripe with possibilities for hilarity, and today did not disappoint.

Skyler was chosen by the director, the amazing Stephanie Lanham, to sing in the "Angel Choir" (okay, I'm crying already) which meant she and 4 other 3-4 year old girls would sing "Away in a Manger." This was her big stage debut. We practiced all week. She knew the words perfectly and made a cute angelic face while singing. It was going to be so touching. Here is the Angel Choir rehearsing before the show, with the equally amazing Sam Lanham on the piano.

Things are looking hopeful for the angelic performance.

All the Angels pose for a shot before heading up to church:

These next two shots should have given me an indication of the direction things were heading:

This, and the fact that when Skyler saw Reed's costume, she too wanted to be a sheep, so she was running around yelling "BAAAA BAAAAA" as everyone was supposed to be lining up. I was a wreck.

The big entrance: So far so good!

Reed was carried down the aisle and then handed to me, but I was in charge of helping kids stay in the right place, so after a minute I put him down and let him crawl to Sam who was sitting a few rows back. Luckily, none of the shepherds were paying enough attention to try to herd him back to stage.

At this point, Skyler was really acting her part, very sweetly ooohing at baby Jesus (looking rather alert for a one week old, no?).

And then all the funny pageant things started happening.

Baby Jesus became wiggly.
The sheep started to stray.
The shepherds began to mess with their head pieces.
Skyler's wings came unhooked on one side and hung sideways on her back.
Then, Skyler said to the audience in her normal talking voice: "Hey Omom! Hey Daddy!"

And then it was time for the Angel Choir to stand and sing "Away in a Manger." Sam and my mom were poised with the cameras.

Four of the angels stood and started right on cue. Skyler decided that now would be a good time to lie on the floor behind all the angels. I couldn't reach her, but I could see her face under there and her lips were moving right along with the others. I sadly decided to let the song go on without her, to not crawl into the pile of children to dig her out and risk an even bigger scene. She had missed her chance to sing to the audience. After the first verse, however, Stephanie miraculously managed to reach into the fray of angels and shepherds, all becoming more disheveled by the minute, and pull Skyler out just in time for the second verse.

and so, with her crooked wings, Skyler had her moment of fame, looking right at Omom the whole time. The cast all walked off singing "Go Tell it on the Mountain" led by 3 amazing adult soloists and it was truly beautiful. THANK YOU Lanhams and Heather, and Emma and Nancy. We had a blast.


Sarah said...

oh. my. goodness!!!! can you put skyler on a plane to colorado RIGHT NOW?????

and, um, FYI: that's the first time EVER I have seen reed unsmiling.

Stephani Nola said...

I've been looking for just such a Christmas pageant for a few years now, with Owen Meany in mind. Nobody gets it! That scene (that whole book) is so vivid.

Your inside scoop has satisfied my craving.

jenn said...

Your portrayal of the pageant in words and pictures made me feel as if I was there. Thanks for a solid book recommendation. Ethan had a fever so unfortunately we did not get to see it live. Sorry about the confusion of Friday night plans. Let's make a date this week!

Christine said...

I wish I could have seen it. Thanks for stopping by today. I wish we could get together more often.