I love you each.
You’re funny. And talented. But as I sit in this dance recital I am holding a foster baby that is in our home for the weekend and I am witnessing an American atrocity that I want you to remember.
And it is not a drug addicted baby.
In the row ahead of me a family has taken hot pink duct tape and marked off 22 seats. We were specifically told not to do this at the informational meeting. Please, always follow the rules. They count off “new-naw, pawpaw, auntie Laurie, auntie Bitsy, Carl-baby, daddy, bubba, Unkie-Mikie, hankie…” These nicknames, while odd are also not the issue, but don’t nickname me when I am old. It’s getting embarrassing. The two woman marking off seats are oblivious to everyone around them. “Unkie-Mikey” just entered the auditorium with an enormous balloon bouquet. I am able to quickly conclude that they are the family of the infamous Kkyylliiee on page 3 of the recital program. She has a full page ad. She’s 5. The dead giveaway is that all of them have on pink t-shirts that say “we hope you dance KKyylliiee“. Don’t ruin songs for people by making silly t-shirts with the lyrics. The ad has Kkyylliiee in her recital costume in a professional portrait for the occasion. I am over the moon to see this chubby kindergartener perform, if only I could see over the balloons – and the camera equipment they are now setting up. Obviously Kkyylliiee must be quite talented & very special because she needed two of every letter to spell her name. As someone whose name has been missing an “e” in my spelling her entire life I covet her vowels. Dear Mary, John, Luke, Sophie, Sam and any others we may have the privelege of raising, you will love your children like nothing you can fathom. Name them wisely – otherwise they will never have a personalized pencil from the museum gift shops on field trips.
Kkyylliiee enters with another “Auntie” and two suitcases so that “Maw-Maw” can do her makeup. “Nee-naw” brings McDonald’s for the whole clan. I can’t help but remember the sign clearly stated outside “NO FOOD OR DRINK.” Again I say – just follow the rules. Yes. They apply to you.
I can’t stop watching the insanity and as I compose this in my head – I make a mental note to myself to write this to you… My dear Americanized children, you aren’t above the rules and you aren’t that great … I am not sorry if you felt less than your peers because I forgot to turn in the form for you to be highlighted in a program.
As much as it hurts me – feel less than. Esteem not yourself. Feel lonely. Feel unworthy. Feel unaccomplished. Feel small. Feel lost. Feel broken.