Chicks and Cats

by Sarah Hodgson on June 9, 2011

Last week, it was Lindsay’s turn to write her school’s morning message, a short, informative passage that is read over the PA system and broadcast to all the classrooms in her school. The night before, we sat together in my office, both of us writing. I tried to concentrate on my projects, struggled not to interfere or hover. I did my best to just work alongside her…two writers, hard at their craft. I peeked only once to see her biting her lower lip and concentrating on what began as an empty page. When she finished, I listen both as a parent and a writer. What I heard made me swell with pride–my daughter managed to squeeze the news of newly hatched chicks and her production of the play “Cats,” into one creatively designed paragraph. A 7 year old masterpiece:

“Good morning chicks! It is the 153rd day of school. Get excited! Today the third graders are going to play with the chicks with us! We have P.E. today. Can you believe it! All the chicks hatched! Today is my play–let’s have fun and be cats!”

Let's all be cats!

And what a cat she was.

Long before we found our wonderful new home and decided to move, we enrolled Lindsay in a theater group. June seemed unimaginably far off as we looked over the schedule for Lighthouse Youth Art Center’s production of Cats. As fate would have it, her much-anticipated debut coincides almost exactly with the final stages of our move. All of our pre-moving work has been accompanied by the unique vocal stylings of Lindsay, belting out chorus after chorus of “Memories.”

But I’ve discovered an excellent cure for moving stress: face painting. For one solid week, I blocked out time to practice under a true face painting master, Ruth Pope. While I am very confident with a leash in my hand, the finer points of faux fur and whiskers eluded me at first. Bohdie was a willing volunteer, graciously allowing me to practice my technique all week long. Not surprisingly, he liked being a dog.

The night of the production went well. Although Ruth cranked out three or four cats to every one of mine, I think I did okay. For her part, Lindsay, resplendent in a black leotard with yarn fur, sang and danced like a Broadway veteran. I thought I had had enough of “Memories,” but I found myself humming it for days.

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