M. made her on-stage debut Thursday. The two kindergarten classes at her school offered a performance of The Bear Went Over the Mountain for family, friends, and classmates.

M. nabbed the plum part of Owl, who was the opening narrator of the program and had several lines in the dramatic closing act. She had been practicing diligently for weeks, both at school and at home. She continues to suffer from fatigue-induced moodiness when she gets home from school each day, so her home practice was often a challenge. She would be tired, cranky, uninterested and either mumble her lines, talk like a three-year-old, or pretend to not be able to read them. The feedback we were getting from school was positive, but we did have some concerns about how she would perform when she had to stand in front of a room full of adults.

Turns out we had no reason to worry. She kicked off the play nicely, marching to the front of the stage, turning on the microphone, and setting the scene for the audience. Her voice was a little soft, she spoke a little too quickly, and she could have used more inflection in her delivery, but it was a pretty impressive performance for a kid that still gets weirdly quiet when around adults she doesn’t know well.

She also handled her other three parts flawlessly.

The play itself was quite cute. Funny songs, some fine performances mixed in with some funny flubs.1 I think it’s safe to say that among kindergarteners at Catholic schools on Indianapolis’ Northside, the performance has not been matched.

Afterwards M. was rather pleased with herself, and got many accolades from her teachers, her eighth-grade buddy, and other parents. Many told her how impressed they were that she had all her lines memorized. Some of the kids only had a word or two to say. Other than the Bear, M. had the most.

After some evenings of exasperation when she refused to rehearse in a normal manner, everything turned out great. I asked her if she wanted to be an actor when she grew up, and she quickly shot that down. “NO!!!!” No addiction to the sound of applause, at least not yet.

The music teacher smartly gave the line “Are you serious?!?!” to a kid that can’t say his R’s. So it came out as “Aww you sewious?!?!” I think this is the last year that will still be cute. ↩