We watched her walk out on stage, sit down, adjust the microphone, smile at the audience, and just start strumming. I was kneeling on the floor, off to the side of the audience so I could record her. Marleigh and a group of her friends had joined me there. We were all holding our breath. We listened as she circled around and repeated the intro. Clever, I thought. Not rushing into it. Taking a minute to get acclimated. She was up there just smiling. And then she started singing, “Now she’s back in the atmosphere with drops of Jupiter in her hair…” Clear and strong. By the third stanza the crowd was clapping along. They were digging her music! Marleigh had tears running down her cheeks, “She’s really good,” she said. We were all crying. And smiling. Whooping her on. She looked so composed, that crazy 13 year old of mine. So natural. Like she’d always been sitting on a stage, strumming a ukelele (a ukelele!), singing.
A good friend of ours gave her the ukelele over the summer and she just started playing the thing. And singing along with it. She has a good ear and tunes it easily. So I wasn’t surprised when she signed up for the talent show. I was nervous though. I mean, I’ve sung with groups and chorales in front of large audiences. But I’d get nervous even with 60 other voices around me. She was going to do this solo. Alone. Just her. In front of a bunch of teenagers.
“But, Mom, you have to promise me something,” she had said when she announced she was going to enter the show. “If I change my mind the night of the show, you have to just let me not do it.” What??? Isn’t that when I’m supposed to support you and urge you on and tell you that you can do this and how good it will be for you? Isn’t that what I’m supposed to do? No, she informed me, indeed it wasn’t. If she was going to do this she had to know ahead that she’d have my full support in also NOT doing it if she so chose. So what could I do but agree.
And there she was, doing her thing, bringing the crowd to their feet. They loved her.
That’s my girl.