Exploring Minds Montessori Presents

The Next Family

By: Tosha Woronov

Here’s my son dressed as a Coral Polyp (that’s right, polyp) for his preschool’s end-of-year performance of “The Reef”.

It was magnificent. Really.  Beatles lyrics sung by 3, 4, and 5 year-olds.  If you think “Yesterday” is a moving tune, you should hear it belted out by your baby and all his classmates.  Likewise “Let It Be”, “Octopus’s Garden” and “Yellow Submarine”.

The primary message of ocean conservation was delivered by an array of characters: shiny gray sharks and sting rays, sleek divers donning air tanks and goggles, sparkly fish of every color (should the school decide to stage a production of Ziggy Stardust, they already have the costumes), a dark-purple sequined octopus, and of course, pink velvety coral polyps.

Leo begged me that very afternoon to let him skip the play –he was nervous –and yet, as soon as the music started he was singing and waving his arms with the rest.  He never let on at home that he knew all that choreography.  When his headpiece fell off in the middle of a number, he kept right on going, like a pro. I cried, laughed, cried some more.  Pete and I must have shared that look – you know, that proud aren’t-we-so-lucky­? look at least 50 times.

I’m going to miss this school, this oasis of childhood wonderment.  And the kids, the adorable kids, like the teeniest one, expected to never get on stage, but instead stood in the middle of the action for the entire performance with a smile on her face.  So f-ing cute.  I’ll miss hot-gluing and wine-sipping with the other moms, each one with her own interests and talents to contribute (a professional set designer, a makeup artist, a seamstress).  And I will miss the teachers, who care so damn much.  Like Miss Vanessa, the tireless, devoted, and psychotically detail-oriented creator of the show.  I might just love her forever, for she gave Peter and me a memory to last as long.

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