Fiesta de las Familias

Every year, on the last day of school, Casa Esperanza Montesorri Charter School (Casa for short) has a fiesta to celebrate. The school holds several fund raisers at the fiesta (silent auction, raffle tickets, and food sales). The kids spend a few hours running around with all of their friends. It's a lot of fun.

But the highlight of the evening is the cultural performances. The kids practice for weeks and then give a performance to about 500 parents, grandparents, family friends, etc. They do some songs as an entire group and some by individual grades or classes.

This was the first year that all of the kids were in Casa, and therefore the first year that they all performed. Needless to say, it was also the first year that Mom got to sit in a chair and watch the entire performance.

I really looked forward to this year's performance - I had listened to the kids practice repeatedly in the weeks prior, correcting each other and trying to determine who could sing the loudest.

I was so proud of those children of mine. I was tearful the entire time (thinking "I hope Maddie doesn't notice her mother blubbering or else she is going to be very embarrassed in front of her friends.").

CoCo made me proud for just sitting with the group. This year has been a bit "touch and go" at school for my free spirit CoCo. It's not easy for her to sit still and follow someone else's routine. But, she did great at the fiesta! She stayed in place, sang her songs, did her dances and was on her best behavior.

Ginger was her little princess self. She sang and danced with such determination - it was obvious that she spent a great deal of time in front of a mirror preparing for this day. Unfortunately, it was horrendously hot (95 degrees at 7 pm). Ginger doesn't really "do" hot. Or cold, for that matter. It's not very princessy. But, she knew that her adoring audience was waiting for her, and she made the best out of it.

Owen was charming, as usual. He is very animated, and performed his numbers as well as any great actor on Broadway.

Maddie was AMAZING. She bravely volunteered to dance in a small group in the grand finale! Not only that, but she had to dance with a BOY. A real, live boy. I'm not sure that she realized how big of a deal this was until the day that they paired the 'couples' up. Maddie was paired up with a boy who is rumored to have kissed a fish. Now, I realize that kissing a fish does not seem like the worst thing in the world. In fact, some days, kissing a fish would register very low on my "weird-o-meter." However, if you are a girl in the 4th grade, this could be disastrous.

Maddie is a sweet child. Her teachers compliment her for how she seeks out other children who are shy or awkward, how she always eats lunch with the new kids in the class, and how she goes out of her way to make sure that everyone feels welcome in the classroom. This experience really tested her limits.

One day, as we were riding in the car, she said "Mom, I really feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders." It was so sweet, I just wanted to kiss her.

Being my kid, there was no way she would back out of the dance. She would not allow this poor young man to feel any worse than he already did.

When the performance finally came, I could not believe my eyes. Maddie was the leader of the group! She smiled her biggest smile, and really let loose! She danced and danced with that sweet little boy. She was a great sport thru out the entire thing. The boy was at least a foot shorter than her, and she had to dip WAY down for him to twirl her around. When it was over, she told me that she thought it went very well. "Mom! I only stepped on his foot 3 times, and he stepped on mine once! And it didn't even hurt!!"

I couldn't love those kids any more. What a wonderful night!


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