Aren’t Annual Days of our children full of excitement and a rumble in the stomach? This year would be my older one's fifth Annual Day performance and it takes me back to the first one he did when he was in pre-school. Aarush was five at the time and we got an email from his pre-school in January that the Annual Day would be held in February. The same day, Aarush got home and told us in with complete enthusiasm on what he was to do. His role included participating in a dance sequence on the Bollywood song ‘Balle Balle’ and a role in a play where he was Chintoo, the parrot.
Everyday he would come from school, bubbling with enthusiasm to show us the new step he had learnt for his dance performance or the dialogues of his play. Frankly, we were surprised to see his passion. Even though his Hindi wasn’t too great at that time, we heard the song ‘Balle Balle’ from Bride and Prejudice everyday for one and a half months till everyone in the family, even my younger who was two at the time, could recite both the song and the lines Aarush had to speak on stage.
Surprisingly, it was not due to any pressure from us or his teachers, but because of his own desire to do it. Till then, we didn’t know that he loved to be on stage. This is the first time we made the discovery and were delighted about it.
The school also gave a lot of importance to the whole process, planning it perfectly so each child was involved in the performance and could enjoy it. A lot of credit of this goes to the teachers who kept the kids excited and involved at every step. The whole performance was thoughtfully prepared.
Annual day was the only discussion in the mom groups at the time of pickup. There was excitement all around. All parents were discussing the costumes - where and how to get one made was a constant worry. The school had informed us that he had to wear a jacket for the dance, bhangra style.
I made trips to the tailor, trips to the market to find the precise colour, running pillar to post, and back to the school so they could approve. Panic hit me as I couldn’t find a tailor who agreed to do this within time! Finally, we hacked it. I found a bright red Mandarin jacket with a floral print that the school was okay with. So his bhangra had a Chinese touch to it. ;) I was so thankful that the parrot costume had been done by the school. Imagine running around for that. Whew.
Aarush’s excitement was infectious. All of us were involved, including my younger who was two. He invited everyone, both the grandparents, his neighbours, our friends. And as it happens, a week before the D-day, he caught a bug. There was a bad viral going around and most of his pre-school classmates got it. I have never seen Aarosh so obedient with his medicines. His complete focus was to get well for the D-day.
The day of the show was a proud moment for all of the parents present at the school. You could see how much these little ones had prepared. Each child was searching for his/her parent in the crowd, looking to see their parents happy faces as they performed. Each parent was eager to see their little performer dance in a group, despite some of them being out-of-sync, the sheer enthusiasm on stage got them thunderous applause. (The school had strictly disallowed any form of video or photo-taking devices so we could all experience the show, something that I loved).
Post the event, we all watched the video of his first annual day function for almost a year. Anyone visiting our home was made to see that video by him. His excitement lasted till the next Annual Day.
Aarush will soon be performing in his 5th Annual Day function. The whole family has been invited and it remains a very big day for him and for us. And this year, my younger one went through his first Annual Day function too, with the same excitement and passion.
Our children’s Annual Days are not just about an effort from the school to put up a show, but a larger meaning for us. Here are a few reasons I share on why it remains important for me as a parent.