Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Hark, the Herald IRS Agents Sing

Last night was the 5-year-old's school Christmas Pageant, dubbed "The Christmas Pagick" by our 3-year-old. (The 3-year-old declared he wasn't going because "I have homework." As if.) The 5-year-old has been practicing for his part for weeks...maybe even months. His sense of time is flawed; he told us rehearsals had been going on for some million years prior to the actual performance. Perhas we could carbon date his costume. Anyway, this was no boring old play with stock cardboard characters like Joseph (family man), Mary (long-suffering wife), and "Jesus." (cute prop with no speaking parts) No! It was a musical extravaganza with updated characters and jazzy background accompaniement. However it still retained its religious character, it must be noted. This is after all a Catholic school. They can't throw out the Baby with the holy water. It was designed to be highly entertaining along with religiously edifying, which meant lots of singing along with fluorescent costumes. Our son was one of the Celestial IRS agents. Who knew the tax collectors were going to get such an exciting role? And at a minimum I would have to admit it was taxing, no matter how much time they spent in the pew awaiting their turn in front of the manger. I guess sheep are out of favor these days, or maybe they wanted to give it a distinctly American flavor, since the parts that normally go to shepherds were played by a couple dozen first or second grade "cowboys." With drawls! Which isn't that hard to obtain here in Florida. Fortunately they did not decide to replace the non-human manger scene participants with Florida-like creatures such as gators, panthers or fire ants. We sat with the rest of the audience in the pews because the glass-enclosed crying room was filled with 4-year-olds awaiting their turn to sing. I secretly slipped the 3-year-old Wheat Thins to keep him quiet. After the first number (performed by the 4-year-olds in the PreKindergarten class) there was enthusiastic applause by the parents. This caused our 3-year-old to step out into the aisle, hold up his hand like a traffic cop (all five fingers spread wide) and shout, "Stop this noise!" I am not sure if he was bothered by the clapping, or if he was just relaying to them what we had previously told him about the need for silence during the performance. Eventually the cowboys drawled, the IRS agents sang, a choir of kids in crowns cavorted, and at last Jesus came in what was billed "Miracle at Midnight." The miracle for us was that we didn't have to leave the performance with the 3-year-old before it was over. Now if our 5-year-old becomes an accountant, we'll know what got him started.

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