Let me set the stage for you…
It was nineteen seventy something, and I walked into my grade 5 class.
The usual morning chaos of getting your books out onto your desk.
The typical chatter of kids getting their last words in before it was time to sit and be quiet for what seemed like forever.
As the teacher got our attention, she directed us to the blackboard where a long list appeared.
She announced that our class would be performing a Christmas play for the entire school and each of us would have a part to play.
At this point, I was in complete panic!!
I was one of those kids who sat towards the back and piled books on my desk thinking I would never be noticed.
(amazing how the mind of a child works.)
Anyway, as I scanned the list , there it was!!
I was going to be a shrub.
No lines to learn.
I could hide in the back so no attention would be on me and all I had to do was blend in with all the other shrubs.
I wasn’t even worried because there were a few in the class who would be eager to take the lead role
( we all had some of those characters in every class)
So I actually sat back and relaxed waiting for my turn to raise my hand to be shrub #1 ,2,3 or 4.
(or at least I thought so)
Next thing I know, the teacher is standing beside my desk and announces to the class,
“Kimmie, I want you to play Josephine, the lead!)
If I was a pencil chewer, I am sure I would have seriously choked at that exact moment.
I looked up at her and said,
“No, that’s okay. I would just rather play a shrub Thank You.”
Needless to say, all my begging and pleading were for nothing,
I was going to play the lead….and I was absolutely petrified!
According to my Mother, I not only learned my lines, I memorized everyone else’s
(fear is a funny thing isn’t it?)
Opening night and I am dressed in my costume 30 minutes before we go on.
Let me set the stage for this one….
It is a winter scene, and Josephine is dressed in a fur coat, matching fur hat, mittens and standing beneath a lamp post with light snow falling
( you know those tiny scraps of paper that was someone’s job to do, which was my second choice after the shrub deal)
Standing front and center and all alone with sweat streaming from my forehead directly into my eyes.
(of course from all the clothes and hot lights beaming down on me.)
the curtain opens.
Now here is the part that is unforgettable for a 5th grader.
I proceed with swiping my right hand across my forehead and belt out my first line.
“Phew, It sure is a cold one today!!”
I really don’t think I had anyone convinced, because a roar of laughter is not what my teacher or myself had truly anticipated.
Needless to say, I got through it,
(and my Mom says I even helped others with their lines if they forgot)
Moral of the story…..
Most days we know we can be the shrub,
but some days we are more than capable to be the lead!!
I know my Mom is smiling remembering this one!
Make it a great day everybody!!