Tuesday, April 28th, 2009
My Daughter is a 4-year-old Groupie
Children’s music artist Red Grammer performed a concert on Saturday in our neck of the woods. [Read my music review.] We’ve attended his annual concerts the past two years and own all of his children’s music.
My daughter had been looking forward to seeing Red for a month and in the week preceding announced that she would make a sign to hold up at the concert.
First, yes, obviously she didn’t write the words on the sign in the photo above. The sign reads: “I love Hello World and Teaching Peace” (her favorite songs). I snapped the photo at home after the concert.
Oh, okay, and because I’m on-record as being anti-princess, that tiara is from a friend’s birthday party. She found it wedged in our car before the concert. It’s red for Red Grammer, so hot diggity.
My daughter’s first makeshift sign was crafted from a sheet of paper using a scrap of cereal box as the holding stick. It’s shown below.
That’s her idea for a sign. I gave her no direction whatsoever. The white contours on the sheet are scraps of the box she taped to the back of the sheet in an attempt to make the sign less floppy.
I told her we’d make a sturdier sign with a wooden stick, but as things go, Saturday rolled around with me loaded up with cold medicine and nothing accomplished. We spent the day attending two key garage sales, a parade and a 4-H science fair, then Mom and Daughter headed to the concert while I went home with our 1-year-old boy.
Aha! But we had packed in the car a roll of paper, a pen, rulers and tape to jiffy-up a sign, and that’s what the girls did minutes before heading inside to the concert. My wife tells the rest of this story…
My daughter sat in the theater next to her 5-year-old friend who also had a sign made by us. That sign read, “I wore red because your name is Red Grammer.”
They giggled in their seats, holding the signs up for 10 minutes before the concert started, occasionally putting them down to rest their arms.
She asked what time it was, and I let slip that the show was scheduled to begin 10 minutes ago. That’s when the girls began shouting.
“Red Grammer! Come out! We’re waiting!” … and variations thereof.
People around us began laughing, which only fed their enthusiasm.
A minute or two later Red walked out and began the show, introducing himself and such, but he kept glancing down at the first row. Did I mention we had front-row seats?
I’m sure he couldn’t see much through the stage lights. It’s kind of like performing blind, but at some point while he was telling the audience a story it dawned on him he was seeing two little girls anxiously holding up signs at his feet.
I’ll paraphrase his response from my poor memory several days later…
“That’s just so sweet. We’re going to do Hello World and you’ll see how we’ve made it a little special for you.”
And at that, the girls were satisfied and they put the signs under their seats.
The ‘something special’ was having Hello World performed also in sign language with assistance from kids from a local elementary school and a light opera company. Red is all about audience participation, so the entire audience learned how to sign the song.
After the show, Red greeted the audience in the lobby, signing autographs and snapping photos for posting on his website. He recognized our daughter in line and gestured her forward.
There he is, sitting on a bench, and he exclaims, “Oh, sweety!” and bursts into the first verse of “Teaching Peace,” with his arms stretched open.
Teaching peace all the world around
You and me, every city, every town.
One by one in our words and in our play
We are teaching peace by what we do and what we say.
Zing. My daughter switched into coy shy mode, smiling and twirling her hair.
He asked if he could hug her, she nodded, and she froze in place for the hug, which is pretty good for a shy little girl. Then she eeked out the question, “Would you please autograph my sign?” and she spelled her name for him.
We’ve already got the date for next year’s concert, and hatched a plan to make bigger signs.
And now a couple requisite DVD concert clips.
The ABC’s of You (a local girl sang the song with him, just like in this video)
Barnyard Boogie (Red clucked face-to-face with another one of my daughter’s friends)