Friday, December 20, 2013

Away Into the Manger

Ellie was just in a preschool play at church.

Yes, I said preschool even though Ellie is in middle school.

The preschool at our church is run by the youth minister's wife who also helps lead a bible study that my girls are part of.

She asked Ellie to be the LEAD in the play for a few different reasons:

•She can read.
Which is good since her part was really big.
It's easy to forget that preschoolers can't read…yet.

•She leans towards the dramatic.

•She has aspirations for the stage.
She was just in the Orphan Choir for the production of Annie, as you may remember.
She rocked "It's a Hard Knock Life" with the broom.

Even though Ellie practiced her lines at home, 

unless I was willing to pull her out of school so she could go to preschool for the day, 
(which I wasn't with finals coming up)

there was no time to rehearse with the kids.

It came to my attention that Ellie would need a biblical costume.

Think nativity scene.

No big deal. 
Costumes are my thing.

Or so I thought.

It needed to be robe-like in a neutral color.

I found a cream duck cloth love seat slip cover for a love seat that we sold over a year ago.

I have no idea why I still had it
or why it was in the toy box.

I cut some arm holes and some length off the bottom and found, 

with the already-there straps tied in bows in the front--

that the costume looked just like a love seat slip cover.

With just an hour and a half before show time, Ellie and I took off to Target.

We found a long gray night gown and a long white robe.

A little lab coat/medical doctorish, but with a sash and head piece that Ellie knew was at the church, we thought it could work.

We flew to the front to checkout.

The lines were intense with people.

I looked around to find the express lane that I had never before used at a Target 

because I have always been under the impression that you HAD to get a cart and fill it.

Target's unwritten rules or something.

Just then I heard a man's voice say,

"One item or less, over here!"

I ran to him with my two items, hoping it was a ridiculous joke.

Thankfully, it was.

Although it was hard to tell because he looked just like

James Gandolfini.

Does this face scream great sense of humor?

In a red Target shirt.

If I wasn't so rushed, I would've asked him if he was in the witness protection program.

Which wouldn't have been wise, now that I think about it.

He obviously didn't pick up on my rushed, frazzled body language

or maybe he did

and asked what we had going on for the evening.

I told him about the church play.

He turned to Ellie and said she was going to look like an angel.

Imagine that uttered with every stereotypical 
emphasis that James Gandolfini had to offer.

It made me stop.

And smile.

I believed him.

It made Ellie smile too.

The outfit worked great.

As Monte and I waited for the play to start, we felt OLD sitting with all the preschool parents. 

They were all so cute with their tripods and multiple recording devices.

Luckily for us, some grandparents came 
making us feel slightly younger.
Ellie did a great job…

So much better than a love seat slipcover, don't you think?

… considering.

Considering that there was no rehearsals

and there was a chatty shepherd,

some slow angels

and a star with stage fright.

Oh yeah, and Ellie accidentally threw baby Jesus "away into the manger" a little too aggressively.

His plastic head went thunk on the side of the wooden manger.

The audience gasped.

Except for me stifling a laugh
and a silent prayer that the good Lord 
will give her some mothering skills 
when the time proves necessary.

Ellie had to say the parts of some of the kids more interested in waving at their parents than staying in character.

She also had to speak up when she asked the preschoolers where Jesus was and one shepherd kept hollering,

"Mom, do you know where baby Jesus is??!!"

Then he started pretending to shoot the wise men
and lost his head dress 
and took a really long time figuring out how to put it back on correctly 
so that we could see his face 
and he could, well, breathe.

All the while, the star started to take her outfit off 
with a bottom lip stuck out so far in a pout 
that I thought it might take out the front row.

It was not Broadway but it was cute.

And real.

And Ellie was exhausted.

But Target James Gandolfini was right,

Ellie looked like an angel.

Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the giggles Karmen. :)

    Sounds like a fun evening and I'm so glad you captured it all in words and pictures for posterity.

    Merry Christmas!


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