Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Grandpa's 70th: Song and Dance

The minute we found out that there was to be a dinner to celebrate Grandpa's 70th, we knew that JED would be expected to be on stage. Jordan and Evan pulled it off spectacularly at their Grandma's 60th 4 years ago but they were just past 3 and were much less self- conscious than they are now. On top of that, they are three of them now to coordinate. 

Of course, being still in the midst of the Frozen frenzy, Jordan insisted on singing "Let it Go" to Grandpa. But her brothers refused to budge on that one and we didn't think that it was all that appropriate for a birthday offering. Eventually we chose to have them sing a Chinese hymn that they all had learnt in kindy; 我要向高山举目 (I lift my eyes to the hills). It was a song they knew well and they knew the actions to and was meaningful. And because Grandpa is special, to do something that required more effort rather than something that came easily to them. 

It required hours of practice and us feeling like rehearsal task masters with them. We had to make sure that the actions were expansive enough to be seen from the back, that they would sing in sync with each other as well as harmonise the bits where the boys sing a different bit from Jordan. Muffin, the youngest and the one that didn't quite realise why the presentation was important, had to be sometimes cajoled and occasionally coerced into action.

But eventually, they all rose wonderfully to the occasion, singing loudly with expansive actions, mostly in sync with each other and with diction that belied their true Chinese ability. Jordan and Evan even did an introduction and pretty much fooled all the guests into believing that Chinese was a language they were confidently proficient in.

It really was a true testament of how much JED loved their Grandpa. The usually shy and self-conscious Evan put aside all the butterflies in his tummy and asked for as long a speaking part as we gave Jordan. He confided in me later that he was terrified but he didn't back out because it was for "Ah Gong".

At the end of the night, JED's biggest complaint was that they didn't have enough mike time (especially Muffin) but the important thing was Grandpa thought everything awesome and had a grin wide enough to split his face.


Post a Comment