Tonight was Luke's first ever school holiday performance. He was very excited about it, and was taking his responsibilities very seriously. When he came home tonight (after school but before the show) he told us:
You cannot wave to me when I am on stage. I will be acting professionally. No waving. And absolutely no smiling.
I am not sure if a teacher said that to him or if he came up with it on his own... whichever it is, between stifled laughs, Nate and I agreed we would not wave at him when he was on stage. We didn't want to put his professionalism at risk.
When we arrived at school, I dropped Luke off with other kindergartners - dressed in red and green and wearing over sized Santa hats. I found Nate, Will and Matt in the multi-purpose room and futilely attempted to keep everyone settled while we waited around for the show to start.
The lights dimmed and a gaggle of kids made their way up on the stage. They took their positions. Luke was in the very front. Not sure if that's because he knew the words to the songs or because he's on the little side. Regardless of why it was, I felt a twinge of panic.
Earlier this week, while listening to the radio on my way to work, I heard the hosts ask people to call in with stories of bad things their kids did in a holiday show. The one that stuck out to me was the mom who called to say that her son sat in front of an auditorium full of people, picking his nose.
And that just didn't seem too far from our reality potential with Luke in the front row.
The music teacher introduced herself, introduced the kids, and started the music. The kids swayed a bit, waiting for their cue. I snuck up front to take a couple close up photos of Luke. And it was at that moment that I realized that there in that room, Luke was doing his best Al Bundy impersonation.
For those unfamiliar, Al Bundy was the main character (played by Ed O'Neill) on the sitcom Married... With Children - a show built around the dysfunctional family life of this character, his wife, and their 2 kids. Al Bundy is an under appreciated shoe salesman who always has a negative or degrading thing to say about his family. It sounds bad, but it was pretty funny - and Al Bundy's signature move was slouching down into his old plaid sofa, putting his hand down his pants, and flipping on the TV.
And there was Luke, doing the same thing!
Thankfully the first song of the night - In The Spirit - had the kids doing all sorts of dramatic motions with their arms. Thankfully we've got a son who is a performer and took the professionalism of his performance very seriously. Thankfully he took his hand out of his pants.
The next song of the evening was Polar Puppy - I couldn't quite understand all the words, but the kids all made these little barking sounds for emphasis and that was pretty cute. Then they all put their sunglasses on for a rousing rendition of Hip Hop Reindeer. Not kidding.
And then the kindergarten performance was over - just 12 minutes after it started. The kids exited the stage, and the 5th graders took over. We listened to some other songs - some sung, some played on plastic balloon things, some played on recorders (which could have gone terribly wrong but didn't), and one with guitar accompaniment.
Then they brought the kindergartners back out, and the two groups sang Deck the Halls together. The 5th graders were the only ones who really knew the words, but those 5 year old kindergartners sang their little hearts out during the fa la la la la la la la la's.
The house lights rose and chaos ensued as parents tried to pick up their kids and beat everyone else out of the parking lot. I found Luke and we talked for a bit about how much fun he had with his performance while we waited for the crowd to thin out. He was so excited! Matt told him he did a good job, and Will was all smiles as we put on out coats. Thankfully the program was a success! Thankfully Luke was (mostly) professional as he wanted to be! Thankfully he did not smile or wave (but I - guiltily - cannot say the same for myself). Thankfully Al Bundy did not make a repeat performance.