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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tudoriffic Year

Didn't recognize Big Brother, did you?  Me neither! In fact, when I walked into his class assembly about the Tudors yesterday, I was scanning the actor-filled stage fretfully, wondering what had happened to him. I knew he was so excited about the production and wouldn't want to miss it. His sweet Year 4 class has studied the history, architecture, art, and food of the Tudors. And when his teacher was casting for Anne of Cleves, my little guy was a great sport!

He wore it so well that most of us didn't even recognize him. That it was Big Brother in a wig and tiny dress dawned on his mother and most of the audience at the same time, just before the show got under way. It is also credit to Biggest Brother that he wasn't terribly embarrassed and cheered for his best buddy.

Big Brother got into and stayed in character (Anne of Cleves was apparently very unattractive!) beautifully. He brought down the house, looking positively crushed by Henry VIII's rejection. I have to keep reminding myself that this is not my shy toddler. His friends congratulated his confidence and performance heartily. And rightfully so. He was heralded for his acting the rest of the day and I could see him walking taller for it.

Amen. Literally. While I know I shouldn't bother God with such things, when I saw our little man in his friend's dress front of his whole giggly school, tons of parents, and all the staff, I didn't just hope it would go well, I prayed. Either God answered me in full measure or Big Brother had it in the bag all along. Perhaps a bit of both.

It wasn't just Big Brother that was super. The whole lot of them shone in a 30 minute production about Tudor times that would knock your socks off. And teach you so much. At Our Sweet School, every half term the classes study a topic that informs all their subjects. He might have learned about the hierarchy of food distribution from a royal household in the morning and done maths with mutton in the afternoon and a song and dance number to "Greensleeves" in between.

If you'd heard Bruno Mars' "Marry You" with lyrics changed to be an energetic, romantic and funny song about Henry VIII proposing to Catherine Parr, complete with hand motions: I'm telling you, you would have cried, too.  That's the second time I found myself in tears in the hall of Our Sweet School this week. Tuesday was at Mass for the feast day of our school patron. There's lots of praying and happy tears in that hall.

School assemblies always close with a prayer. All those heads bowed. I was searching for a tissue when I saw one little face pop up. It was one of Biggest Brother's friends. Yesterday was her last day at Our Sweet School before moving. Her hands clasped in prayer, I saw her scanning the scene. Her dearest friends ages 3 to 11 were all there, smushed together, having just learned, laughed and sang together, and closing with a prayer of thanksgiving for it all. I could see her trying desperately to capture it and hold the moment for a bit longer. I know I feel that way whenever I'm in the hall. And I'm not moving to Poland on Monday.

This is already such an amazing year. All my little people and lots of our friends gathered at Our Sweet School. This little Nursery student was so good at her brother's assembly that she got a shiny smiley face sticker. Can you stand this school year already? I'm not sure I can.

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