Gramma Reflects on the Bittersweet Reality of Her Grandchildren's Summer Showcases by Rebecca Daniels
How do grandparents spend their summers? Why, going to camp showcases for their arts-oriented grandchildren, of course. And possibly to games for the sports-oriented ones, though most of those seem to happen when league play starts in the fall, and summer sports camps don’t seem to have anything comparable to the showcases to share with family members.
I’ve got photos from nearly every summer camp showcase my 12-year-old, dance-obsessed granddaughter has participated in since she could walk well enough to start dancing. Recently, she’s also discovered a love of acting through an after-school theater program, and while she doesn’t love singing in quite the same way, she participates enthusiastically in several “triple-threat” summer camps.
Those who know what I did for a living before retirement (taught acting for many years) know that this warms my heart greatly, though I never actively pushed her in this direction. However, I did support her every foray into the dance and theater world in whatever way a gramma could, which mostly included being an enthusiastic audience member, giving her books about dance and dancers, and, starting when she was in her tutu-wearing-all-the-time phase, with appropriate dance gear gifts.
It’s a little harder to know exactly how to support the 9-year-old, sports-loving grandson in the same active way. Though I’m happy to play catch with him when asked, my vision isn’t what it used to be, and I can’t play full-fledged baseball anymore because of my arthritis, so I suspect he finds those times a little frustrating because Gramma’s not as good at the game as she once was, though he doesn’t complain. I also support his interests with books and appropriate gifts, but his current obsession with Beyblades doesn’t offer a lot of options for regular spectatorship.
This week, the kids are both going to the same “fairy house” camp, which will culminate in a showcase of singing and dancing on the camp theme. The majority of the campers are girls, though there are three boys involved, all of whom are likely there because the sports camps are over for the season. In fact, my grandson wanted to refuse entirely and is there under duress this year. And instead of being one of the younger campers in the triple-threat camps, my granddaughter is now the oldest camper in the entire group by two whole years, so I expect this will likely be the last time the kids actually perform in the same camp showcase. It will be delightful to see them onstage together at the end of the week, but just a little sad, too.
This summer showcase is showing me not just what the kids can do onstage, but how quickly they grow up!
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