annie! . . . er . . . The Little Mermaid!

I sat on the floor of the Glesby Center's event room, watching Jordan watch the stage. Kids were auditioning, one after another for three casting people and a pianist, and being watched by dozens of other kids and their parents. We found out that the play had been switched from Annie to The Little Mermaid, but Jordan was going to sing her Annie song anyway.

She leaned on me, more and more tightly as the evening wore on, and munched through all her fingernails. "I'm scared," she whispered. "I know," I whispered back, still wondering if she'd chicken out and we'd make a run for it as her turn came up. "But you know," I continued, "You sound just like all these other kids. They're all nervous and they're doing a good job of being brave, and I know you sing just as well as they do, and everyone will just be proud of you for doing it."

For the record, had she said that she wanted out I wouldn't have tried to talk her into staying.

"Do you still want to do it?" She hesitated, then nodded.

Finally, her turn was two or three kids away. We went up the stairs at the side of the stage and lined up in our place behind the curtain. She said I could go back down and watch from the floor if I wanted, so I did. The little girl ahead of her finished and Jordan walked out, looking small and sweet and nervous. She handed her information to the panel and answered their questions with one word answers, and nods and head shakes. My heart was racing like crazy.

She had decided to sing without the piano, but when she started singing she kind of froze up and stopped and looked scared. The pianist asked her a question, Jordan nodded, and she opened her music book. I quickly approached the stage and told her that Jordan had been singing the song a lot lower than the music was played. The pianist was kind enough to adjust the notes and Jordan sang. As the song went on, she got quieter and quieter, to the point where I almost couldn't hear her, but she sang the entire thing, and then did a scale along with the piano and exited the stage before appearing below and racing towards me, all smiles and relief and obvious pride in what she had just done.

I gave her a giant hug and gushed about how proud of her I was. She never ceases to surprise me.

I honestly knew that a lot of the kids had been braver and sung much louder and at least as good as she had. There were slightly older kids who were definitely more practiced and performed with pizazz and impressive vocal range. I didn't even care. If she never did more than audition I was still proud of her.

Turns out, Jordan is in the play!

Last night I got an email saying that they had chosen their lead performers, and that all the other kids will make up the chorus. I was beyond excited. I was almost tempted to wake Jordan and tell her, but . . . seriously, just don't wake them up once they are sleeping.

For the next few months, the play will be practiced on Sunday afternoons, and the concert will be at the end of May. I told Jordan this morning, and although she's a little disappointed that she won't be Ariel (along with 59 other kids!), she is pretty excited to be part of it. What a fun opportunity for her to sing with a group, as well as watch how a play comes together from the beginning until the finished product. Can't wait.


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