Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Orphan Wrangler

It’s that time of year when my youngest goes on a performance juggernaut in which my time is generally part of the sacrifice.  This weekend she‘s in three performances of Annie: The Musical. If you ask her what part she’s playing, you get the same, deadpan answer: “a named orphan.”  Being the seemingly impossible parent of that named orphan, I volunteered to wrangle the other orphans when they were not on stage. 

I hate kid wrangling. And yet, I continue to volunteer.

Two years ago I wrangled singing nuns—let me tell you, they were no saints. Last year, I wrangled the boys, Winkies and Ozians—with no yellow brick road to follow or broomstick with which to help me keep them in line! This year, I'm wrangling the little girl orphans—some named and, sadly, some unnamed which makes it harder to get their attention.

There’s also some interesting politics in Annie, including the character of Daddy Warbucks, the self-made billionare, a staunch Republican, and friends with FDR.  The Hooverville street folk and the FDR cabinet including Harold Ickes who is forced by the Commander in Chief to sing about Tomorrow, as FDR thinks all they need is some hope, round out the ideologies. Ultimately, everyone feels better because they’re getting a New Deal for Christmas!

My named orphan, constantly on the alert for political stumping, particularly by her parents, finds the entire play quite a boatload.

So while kid wrangling is not my central purpose in life, it’s a job, albeit one that doesn’t pay except in bouts of extreme irritation and conspicuously loud shushing. But still, I do it for the kids. Okay, I do it just for mine, but it’s not so bad because it’ll all be over tomorrow.

And as we all know, tomorrow’s only a day away 
[Hey! I heard that groan. Oh . . . that’s because it was me.]

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