Thursday, 24 December 2015

The School Nativity Play

A few weeks ago, my children very casually announced that they were going to be Mary and one of the Three Wise Kings respectively in the school nativity play.  I had a flashback to my own childhood, when the who-would-be-who in the Christmas play was announced by the class teacher.  I remember my disgust at being a shepherd one year.  No little diva (or maybe just moi) wants a part that involves a brown tea towel on their head.  The most prestigious role that I remember having was an inn-keeper.  At least I had a line of dialogue.  I’m sure that it went something poignant and significant like ‘…No Room at the Inn … ’  Now, MY girl was MARY no less.  Mary !  I could channel my childhood disappointments and embrace her starring role.  A Wise King wasn’t to be sneezed at either.  A bit of bling was guaranteed after all.

The pair of them didn’t seem as impressed with their roles as I thought they might (should).   Maybe because they didn’t have dialogue, or maybe because they are just more laid back than their Ma, or perhaps it all went over their ikkle heads.  Only last week The Boy asked me ‘why do we celebrate Christmas anyway Mam ?’  I prompted him about the story behind their Christmas play that they have been working on for weeks in school.  ‘Oh yeah,’ he said, ‘I forgot.’
Most of the time in the run up to the public performance involved The Boy teasing The Girl about Ryan (who played Joseph in the play) saying that Ryan was her boyfriend.  Looking at Ryan/Joseph’s wee face, I thought ‘you couldn’t go wrong with him daughter’, but thought that I had best say nothing.

The getting-ready on the morning of the play was far from joyful.  Already banjaxed from Christmas shopping the day before, I scrapped the children out of bed too late and left myself short of time.  They fought over who would have a shower first and came up with opposing rationale on who should go first.  They presented valid arguements.  ‘I’m the oldest’ (even though it is only by one minute). ‘I asked first’, ‘I got out of bed first’, ‘I’m dirtier’, etc.  In the end, I thought of bringing them both into the garden and power hosing them simultaneously.  
My Wise King arrived home from school during the week with a rather impressive cloak, with the instruction that he was to wear it with a round necked top on the day of the play.  In a rare moment of going against what ‘teacher said’, he insisted on wearing a skater boy hoodie underneath, with skinny jeans.  A hipster king.  As the clock ticked, I thought ‘it’ll do !’ and thought that he might be onto something.
Mary was easier to dress.  A cream dress from my brother’s wedding last year, with pale blue headscarf and sash (hand stitched by me, Mother of the Year.  Did you hear me, hand stitched).  All ironed and ready to go.  But could I find the white band to hold the headscarf in place ?   The one that was there a minute ago ?  The one that I had been carefully minded for a week ? The one that fussy Little Woman actually gave the thumbs up to ? No !  Clock ticking.  Bad language and muttering under breath.  I wondered if I could use masking tape to secure it to her head.  Phew !  Found the white band.  Mary shall be gorgeous after all.

I guess that you could say that the nativity play was an alternative one.  The main gist of it was the gift of giving.  Spinning tops, floppy clowns, marching soldiers and dancing dollies all did a party piece for the baba.  My favourite gift was given by the shy rabbit who brought hugs. 
Much of the script was delivered most eloquently by narrators.  One described the angel ‘very, very gently placing the baby in Mary’s arms.’  In reality, the rather angelic looking angel reefed the baby Jesus from where he lay, didn’t support his little head and sort of slam dunked him onto Mary’s lap.
At the best of times, children singing makes me shed a tear.  I’m a sucker for ‘Away in a Manger’ and ‘Cead Mile Failte Romhat, a Iosa’ sang by a choir and during this play, both were sung.  There was no hope for me.  Of course I forgot to bring tissues.  I tried to use the lack of absorbent materials (other than my sleeve) as a deterrent and avoid Panda Eyes. 

The Junior Infant pupils singing in padded star costumes made it all very cute.  There was no picking-of-noses (as a friend witnessed at her daughter’s play), but there were some big arm stretches and drifting off mid-sentence, staring into the distance.

The play involved the whole school community of almost one hundred pupils and all of the teachers.  The Trojan effort was obvious.  It was one of those days when I was grateful that my children have the experience of a smaller school, where each child had his/her own platform, where a humble spinning top seemed as important as ‘holy Mary.’  I guess that I learned a lesson too.  A more humble diva anseo anois.

Happy Christmas gorgeous people x

No comments:

Post a Comment