You see, I'm something of a ham. When I was younger I really wanted to be in plays and things but was always too timid to try out. By the time I finally did get the nerve to try for something I thought I'd be a shoe-in for (supporting cast of West Side Story in my senior year in high school), it was too late, I just didn't have any experience, and I didn't even get Shark Girl #5.
It wasn't until my 30's when I got brave enough to try to perform again. Nothing grand mind you. I was Queen Esther in my local temple's Purim Spiel for several years in a row. I've performed as a belly dancer both solo and in groups for small shows. Those were wonderful experiences I wouldn't trade for anything. But some of my favorite performances are the ones I've done for my kids just reading their favorite books to them.
My kids didn't care that I froze up at tryout for a school talent show or crashed and burned on the West Side Story try out. I had a lot of fun making up kooky, over the top voices for their favorite characters, dropping and raising my pitch at just the right moments. My rendition of Fox in Socks was a huge favorite. I think the craziest I ever got with it was reading the whole Harry Potter series twice - with different voices for all the major characters - once out loud to my son, and the second time out loud to my daughter and my son. He tried to pretend he wasn't listening the second time around, but he was good at noticing when I was getting sloppy. "Your Luna sounds like Trelawney," he said once looking over the top of his video game.
"I thought you weren't listening," I said.
His response was a grunt as I recall. But a few minutes later he put the game down and was listening as intently as his sister. (I did adjust my reading a bit so my Luna sounded different.)
They're big now. Too big to really read to as much as I did when they were young. Except, my daughter has asked that she get special reading time while my son is at camp. And she wants me to read Harry Potter again, when the new illustrated version comes out. My son said he might even listen too, you know if Dad listens, just to see his reaction because my husband has never read the books.
So, they'll mostly be off with their friends, which is a great thing, because they are growing up. And a lot of time will go to the camps they wanted to attend. But I kind of love that I know that in slow moments this summer, I'll be reading something, maybe Sisters Grimm, the Chronicles of Narnia, or the Hobbit, and maybe they'll still feel like listening.
Maybe the Princess Bride? I'll have to reread it first to make sure.
Song Choice: Narnia by Steve Hackett