Huck and his classmates have worked all school year on their very own original play "The Pizza Thief," adapted from "The Pie Thief." Huck learned his Lightening Lion lines quickly, as well as all the other lines, and he was also given the important job of Presenter who not only welcomes the audience but also introduces the five scenes: Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution. After many rehearsals the performance was set for Feb. 29th, and early that morning Huck woke up feeling sick in the stomach. He laid in bed trying to relax himself so he would be well in time for the play, while my little mother heart broke into a thousand pieces. I myself laid in bed wide awake for the next several hours willing his body a miraculous healing. When 7:00 finally rolled around he seemed okay, so we all got dressed and ready and headed to school. But of course he was not okay; he was tired and a little weak and his tummy hurt.
I think the next two hours were as hard on me as they were on him, similar to his birth. I knew we should have kept him home, but then again, how could we keep him from what he had worked so hard on since October? And who else could stand there and introduce all the scenes with those complex words? THE SHOW MUST GO ON!
They did a run-through and he did great, but during the curtain call I saw his face turn a creepy color. I quickly grabbed him and with the lovely guidance counselor's help began feeding him saltine crackers and water while rubbing his tummy and again willing his body to be fine. Suddenly this was some high stakes Broadway production that was make it or break it! Oh please let him be well enough to perform for all the agents and casting directors who could change his life!
Suddenly the audience of excited moms and dads with their iPhone cameras came in and next thing I knew I was pushing my sick little lion onto the classroom stage, making sure his emergency crackers and water were with him at all times. I vaguely remember Troy walking into the classroom as I gave him a terrified facial expression, but we didn't sit together so I'm not sure he was really there. I think the play went fine. All I know is I frantically took hundreds of bad pictures while staring at Huck's face hidden behind his mask looking for signs of green colors and saying at least 4700 panicky prayers promising God I'd never ask for anything again if Huck could just please, please not throw up on everyone. He sweetly gave me little thumbs up signals every few minutes to make me feel better, because suddenly this was all about me, and 30 minutes later they were bowing and he was slowly walking up to me ready to go home.
We got him back in his normal clothes, said our sad goodbyes since this meant no cast party for us (I mean Huck), and made our way home. I think Troy had to rush back to work on his bike, if he was even there. Huck and I took the city bus and decided to run into Key Food right around the corner from our apartment to get some Gatorade. As the cashier very slowly counted back my change he said, "Mommy, it's happening now!" and began vomiting everywhere. Luckily there was a really large trashcan about two feet away from us.
Turns out there was some kind of yucky something going around the first grade classrooms resulting in several missing actors and a few medicated performers. (One mom said she doped up her daughter like she was Judy Garland to get her to the show.) And now, of course, it's my turn, though I've got it approximately 4700 times worse than Huck did, which is the exact number of prayers prayed during his theatrical debut. Our apologies to anyone we may have infected.
There's no business like show business and parenthood.