By the time I was to lead our last practice (out of a whopping three) for the Winter Concert at work, I had almost completely lost my voice.
I’ve been sick with an energy-zapping, congestion-producing, sinus-filling, sore-throat-inducing upper respiratory virus, infection, plague, whatever for over a month now.
Each time I think I’m finally starting to get better, my body lets me know in no uncertain terms is the battle o’er. Coughing fits in the middle of the night and trouble sleeping are my newest addition of symptoms.
Fortunately, a co-worker had made posters of each of “The 12 Days of Christmas,” so the kids could hold them up when we got to their number. We made do with me acting out many of the days while the kids held up posters facing out so parents would feel encouraged to join in.
We sang “The 12 Days of Christmas” acapella. Considering, we’d never all been together for a single practice, including the mini-rehearsal in the basement of the church right before the show, it went well. Unless someone got it on video, most people probably couldn’t pick out the person who skipped every practice then was asked to hand-out programs, thereby missing every opportunity to practice the song lyrics and see the props. Without the posters as guides and audience participation to cover up that fact, it could have easily been a train wreck, albeit an endearing one.
The other song chosen for us to sing was “Feliz Navidad.” For this one, we sang along to the music and had a dance party of sorts. A co-worker brought in several sombreros she had at home. The reasons why she had multiple sombreros at her residence were never clearly explained. (I may look into that mystery further next week.) I located the additional hats purchased earlier that day, but unfortunately, I could not find the original ones supplied for us. When it was time to load the bus and go over to the church for the concert, I'd looked high and low but never located the missing Mexican hats.
A co-worker tells me she thinks someone who was upset they had to stay and close down the building, thereby missing the Winter Concert, had hidden them in passive-aggressive retaliation. I’m not sure if this is accurate or not, but only some of the kids had sombreros for the song. The others stood there looking dejected because they did not. I'm of the opinion that any co-worker who would stoop so low should have to handwrite a letter of apology to each of the children scarred for life because they were without festive headgear for their performance.
I had planned on changing from my sneakers into boots, putting on some make-up, and looking halfway decent for the performance since this would be my first public appearance in front of most of the parents, but that never happened. Instead, I made my grand debut in gray pants, a somewhat nice pink top with a gray button down cardigan over it bearing the company’s embroidered insignia, and my well-worn black and gray walking shoes. At least, I had on a gray and black print scarf and a little lipstick.
I’m not much one for fashion or makeup usually, but I’d hoped to look a little better before the throng of parents, grandparents, co-workers, and administration, some of whom were pretty gussied up for the occasion.
After pleading with the audience to sing along with us, I sat on the floor near the aisle with my back to the crowd so as to be as inconspicuous as possible. I did the motions to remind them of the words for the Twelve Days and sang along (since my voice had come back). I wasn’t blocking any parents from the show nor was I blatantly identifiable as the only adult responsible for what was happening on the altar, so I’d say it was a win-win.