The Rhythm of My Heart

This is pre-extensions. Yes, that’s all Rod’s own
hair…and enough hairspray to keep the musical
of the same name walking the boards for a week.

Because he’s managed a bit of work locally over the holidays, Master20’s been coming up on weekends. It’s great the kids can all get together and bond. Even better he gets to share some of their ‘look at me’ moments and correct me on my dodgy parenting.

Today we watched Miss9 jump and toe point her way through some Highland dancing at a local daycare centre’s Christmas function.

Master20 was so taken with her performance he posted a little something on Facebook:

“My sister Grace was Highland dancing today. Most confidence I’ve ever seen her have. She was beautiful.”

“She has my rhythm,” I posted back. By which I mean there were glimpses of rhythm but nothing which had anything to do with the song playing. “It was everyone else, including the bagpiper, who was out of step.”

“Dad!” he came back. “You are barred from treating her dancing like you did my singing!”

This has been a bone of contention for a few years now. Apparently I wasn’t very supportive of his singing career ambitions.

Three years ago, Master20 came rushing into the house, announcing excitedly, “I’m in the school play!”

“That’s fantastic,” I told him. I was in school plays when I was at school – usually up in the rafters helping with the lighting and trying to look down the girls’ tops. “What are you doing? Props? Seating?”

“I got the lead.”

“So you’re doing lighting? You’ll be working with electric leads and things?”

“The lead! I’m a lead actor in the musical!”

“Have they heard you sing yet?” I asked with some trepidation.

Because the bathroom was right near the kitchen, I had. Let’s just say my oldest son could guest spot the segment on Spicks & Specks where someone does a performance of a well known song, which almost but not quite sounds like the original, and everyone has to try guess the title. I love my son, but he may as well attempt to hold steam as hold a tune.

“Sure did. We had auditions the other day.”

I tugged absently on my ear, the one closest to the bathroom door when I’m doing dishes and so the one he’d most abused, and thought about this some more. “So, I guess,” I said eventually as I ran this new information through various parenting filters. “Well done?” But I couldn’t help myself: I had to be sure. “Seriously, though, they’ve actually heard you sing?”

Oddly, my oldest seemed a bit crushed at my assessment of his inability to hold a tune. I didn’t understand. I assumed he knew. It took a fair bit of restraint on my behalf not to ask if lip syncing was an option.

Which is why he was so keen I should support his little sister’s performances.

“She is graceful and will get a lot better,” he posted loyally. “She did a brilliant job.” As a sibling, he makes a great father. As a father, let’s face it, I sometimes don’t. Hey, I’ve seen the audition tapes of X-Factor, Idol and So You Think You Can Dance – I see myself as saving my kids from a world of humiliation. But I had to admit he had a point.

“Actually,” I conceded, “she was doing great until I caught her attention with my waving and photo taking.” She was. Then she spotted me, grinned, and seemed to forget why she was there. But she looked fantastic and was loving every single minute of it, which is all that really matters anyway. And I confess I LOVED watching her dance and have taken dozens of photos of her wonderful performance. “Maybe I blinded her ears with the flash?” I offered.

Though I was damned if I was going to take all the blame, so I posted one final comment to my big lad.

“Although your singing might be the other reason her ears are damaged.”


When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes

Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’ Facebook Page.

’raising a family on little more than laughs’

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