Our spring showed color early and has been full to bursting since then, with performance, celebration, commencement, remembrance and rites of passage.
(This will surely sound like one of those insipid Christmas letters listing stuff about a family you never see IRL, so feel free to skip it or make snarky comments — in the privacy of your own home.) 😉
Maybe the garden metaphor is less fitting than fireworks, or rocket launches. But there have been plenty of flowers, on hats and in centerpieces, on stage and on campus and filling our home. I suppose the season started with Favorite Daughter’s acceptance to grad school and her 21st birthday, clinching a job at the campus music library, apartment hunting for that first momentous move out on her own (she’s lived at home through university) all while sustaining her unbroken streak on the president’s list to lock up her perfect career GPA with a Phi Beta Kappa key.
St. Patrick’s Day was a whole week for both FavD and Young Son, an Irish stepdance marathon of performances for schools indoors and out, for nursing homes and assisted living centers and at two different citywide festivals. Thanks to unschooling, on the actual day Young Son was able to start at nine in the morning and dance straight through until almost ten that night.
I know how much he danced and how much energy it must have taken because I went everywhere with him; I was worn out even though I got to sit the whole time. 🙂
Meanwhile, rehearsals for their latest community theatre musical “CURTAINS” took up most weeknights and Saturdays through March and April, for both kids. (Favorite Daughter was dance captain.)
This time the show rehearsed in a vacant mall storefront, filling the atrium far and wide with song and dance, delighting mall-crawlers from all directions — mostly from Barnes and Noble and the sports superstore but also the little kid ride-for-a-quarter machines — whose stopped-in-their-tracks surprise was good fun to watch from a bench nearby while waiting to chauffeur one or both Ross kids to whatever awaited their attention next.
Young Son took up another wind instrument this spring, in addition to the great highland bagpipes, hornpipes, penny whistles and baritone vocals he enjoys so much: the alto saxophone. MY alto saxophone to be precise. We found yet another tailor-made mentor/private teacher, a world-traveled former US Army Band professional saxophonist who’s now A.B.D. (all but dissertation) at the local university and has his own studio and instrument workshop at home.
Oh, and FavD quite unexpectedly acquired a new costume de rigueur as of April 20, perfectly suited to her scholarly librarian life: her first pair of glasses, which like Young Son, she wears all the time and looks somehow more like herself with, than without. 🙂
On the heels of that bespectacling, their dad’s mother and sister (DiDi and Auntie) flew in from across the country to visit for two weeks, arriving late the night before Graduation and the Royal Wedding for lots of pictures and campus receptions.
We knew going in she was graduating summa cum laude, which at FSU is 3.9 or better and works out roughly to the top two percent. What surprised us was that as the formalities began, they called her name from the dais to stand, from wa-ay in back with the other R-surnames, to be fully introduced and individually recognized with applause, as one of less than a half-dozen 4.0 summas in a mortarboarded sea of more than two thousand graduates. (Doing THAT percentage in my head, wow!)
By the time graduation ended and we could get everyone home, it was after 10 p.m. and we’d been up since dawn with the royal wedding. It was time for a melt-in-your-mouth post-graduation supper featuring barbeque brisket and custom garnet-and-gold FSU confections from Food Network-competing Lucy & Leo’s Cupcakery — red velvet insides, edible glitter on gold cream cheese frosting, big hit all around.
And at the party, I got the chance to meet several close friends FavD has made out in the world on her own, good young people and a good moment for the whole family and especially her mom, to see she really IS all grown up.
Graduation festivities segued into a week of late-night dress rehearsals running up to the show’s opening night the next weekend, followed by Derby Day mint juleps and Mother’s Day brunch.
So many hat-worthy events: MisEducation’s costume de rigueur!
The next week revolved around the show script FavD pens annually for their formative dance studio‘s spring concert, this year themed as Puttin’ on the Brits. She and Young Son were the vocal talent for professionally recorded narration by Crash ‘n’ Annie’s, particularly fun because Young Son got to use in full flower the over-the-top English accent he developed last winter doing “Scrooge: the Musical” in Quincy’s historic theatre. (I volunteered to help out as show staff for the weekend so I could enjoy their golden throats over and over.)
Spring is over here now and summer underway with languid 94-degree afternoons already, but the singing and dancing and partying won’t slow down apace until at least the end of June. Their current dance company’s annual shows are in rehearsals now, to be followed by two full weeks of musical theatre dance camp and performance for Young Son.