Monday, June 20, 2011

The Big Spectacle

I can't believe I've let a week go by without telling you anything. I really don't know how it happened. I guess with Mon Mari gone for work and the kids' big school fĂȘte and spectacle plus sunny, swimming pool days I've let time get away from me.

My big kids' school puts on an incredible party and show at the end of each school year.You may remember how I nearly made the Middlest miss it last year because of my constant misunderstanding of French. This year was better and I even pitched in, baking a peach cake and slicing up boxes of baguettes for French stylee hot dogs. Of course they put their sausages in baguettes--are you surprised?

How it works is this: the parents and teachers all pitch in, setting up the school grounds with a big barbecue pit, drinks stand, tables and chairs for dining and a huge spread of homemade salads, quiche and cakes. Everything costs either 50c or 1 euro and all proceeds go to the school. It is a great time for the community, everyone laughing and talking, eating together with bottles of cold rosé; even the mayor with his big moustache was there.

After the dinner, it's time for the show. Our school is known for its show and Friday's production was the 37th--nearly as old as me as my lovely children pointed out.
the pyramid
 The theme was Egypt and the kids have been learning about the history of Egypt all semester in addition to practicing for the show. There are spotlights, makeup, music and big booming speakers with a voice track in case anyone forgets their lines. Ma Fille's class built the pyramid with foam blocks and triangles to James Brown's 'I Feel Good'. And the Middlest was a mummy who threw down some sweet break dance moves as well as his signature robot. (the mummies had white gauze wrapped around their heads and looked hilariously like a stage full of brain surgery patients)

Middlest center stage
It lasted until nearly midnight, sending Mon Mari and the Baby home before the finale. On the way home the big kids fought against sleep, excited as they were from the post-show buzz.

It's nice to be part of something. We are not just the Americans at school anymore, not as much of a novelty. The kids speak French and I actually understood most of the show. A lot has happened in a year. Maybe next year I'll be able to work at the salad stand....maybe.

Oh, and the Middlest lost his front tooth and looks like a hillbilly.


  1. Oooohh, lost tooth - BIG DEAL!! Congrats to the middlest; does the Tooth Fairy come all the way to France? We still haven't lost any teeth here so we are jealous! And your Spectacle looks pretty spectacular too, beat the maternelle one we had last week. No set, no costumes, bloody 3 yr olds not pulling their weight :) Will have to see if the primaire one this Friday is any better. Loved the photo of all the lobotomy patients on stage, classic!

  2. He's an adorable hillbilly (but what do you expect with snake shootin' grandmas!)
    And next year, you're going to rock that salad stand! x

  3. Eventually we do cross that line that takes us from strangers to normal people. Okay...not normal...but probably as close as we're ever going to get. Enjoy your summer Aidan. Middlest is far too cute to be a hillbilly!

  4. He's soooo super cute, huh? The thing is the other front tooth isn't 'anchored' anymore and kind of floats free style in the middle. He's so proud...and we get the tooth fairy and not the little mouse. A mouse delivering goodies and taking your tooth seems kinda creepy, non?

  5. The days of the school play are always gold and should be treated that way, I think. Yes, they're cheesy and yes, they're badly acted and yes they're only children - but that's what makes it utterly brilliant. :)

  6. Yeah, I find the souris almost as odd as the Easter bells, which bring the Easter eggs (no bunnies here!) Seriously, bells?

    Our school fete is still to come!

    And YES, Middlest is edibly cute.

  7. This brings me back to memories of school plays and end of the year parties, it was nice to be part of that, watching my children perform, helping out at the food stand. Since my children went to the American (now International) school in Florence, I was the 'foreigner' in a group of mostly American mothers and it felt good when I was accepted and not merely considered 'the Italian'!


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