Yesterday was the big day. The day of the school play: Abbaella. In case the title isn't clear enough, it was the story of Cinderella set to Abba music, a nursery take on the Mama Mia musical and film. Unfortunately Pierce Brosnan didn't star in our version but the singing was on a par.
Being the mother to a Reception year child, this was my first ever proper school play that I've attended as a parent (I qualify that because I have been to numerous school plays as a child including singing Japanese in the Mikado and having a bad scottish dancing part in Brigadoon). I do not count the pre-school nativity plays as they always consist of a flock of lost sheep bumping into each other and singing twinkle twinkle little star - which of course has its own very sweet appeal, but they're not quite a full on proper play.
Now Abbaella was most definitely a proper play. It lasted a full hour for a start. It was magnificent. It was so good I watched it twice. The matinee and evening shows.
During the matinee performance, our little mouse reverted to his former self and refused to participate. When all the rest of his classmates stood up and did a mouse line dance, he sat on the side and cried. I tried not to cry. He did sing valiantly throughout the show and even did the arm moves, which none of his friends did. At the very end - finale - to the poignant strains of 'Thank you for the music' he finally stood up and joined in. My heart melted. I weeped. A lot. I pretended not to. I coughed a lot and pretended that my cold had gotten a lot worse all of a sudden.
We had a good long chat in the afternoon about why he didn't want to join in. He explained: 'I've tried and I've tried but I just can't get it right.' Bless. So I said that it really wasn't important if he didn't get it right, it's important just to join in and have fun. It took some persuading (in the form of a gogo bribe) but he agreed reluctantly to have another go in the evening.
Off we went for our second performance of the day. This time daddy came too. And little brother. We didn't officially have a ticket for son 2 and I but we begged and pleaded our way in. Thank goodness we did.
Miracle of miracles, this time he got up and joined in the mouse line dance. He was right, despite his practicing he didn't get it right but that just made it even better. The beaming smile on his face lit up the entire room. He was even brave enough to join in the pumpkin hunt midway through and did a rousing performance once again to 'Thank you for the music'. And once again, I was like a pregnant woman watching Hallmark card ads. The tears just flowed. I was unstoppable.
The entire cast was excellent - just bad enough to be funny, but not so bad to be truely embarrassing. The enthusiasm was amazing and the soundtrack, well, what's not to like about a bit of Dancing Queen? I am so proud of them all and chuffed to bits that we've landed up with such a fab little local school.
But most of all it was the joy of seeing our little mouse (who has never in all of his almost five years of life joined in with anything) dancing his camp Abba dance moves up on stage. With a grin big enough for Britain and a veritable glow of pride beaming from his face, it was one of those moments that make all the nights of no sleep, poo wiping up, tantrum-tastic endlessness of parenting worthwhile.
To quote Mastercard:
Grey mouse outfit - £10
Two tickets to see the show - £3
Getting to see a small mouse belting out Thank You for the Music - Priceless