M has been attending an International school in Chiang Mai since August, 2010. She’s struggled at first: being in a new country, making new friends, adjusting to a new culture and a new way of living. I think she’s done a super job at mastering all of the above in 7 months.
From the very beginning she had the choice to participate in “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (FMF)- the school’s first play production for Primary level. She brought her script home every day. It was in her backpack. FMF was in her life for the past 7 months and she happily accepted it so. She spoke about it often and she made me read all the lines so she could practice hers.
By Feb., 2011 the school was ready to put on the play at Chiang Mai University Art Center and M was more ready than ever. We went shopping for her outfit at Kad Luang. It was simply dizzying for me trying to find the perfect black skirt that was attached to set of black stockings.
We began to receive emails and letters from the school getting ready for the big day. She reminded us everyday about the rehearsals. She reminded us to invite friends. She reminded us to purchase tickets. She reminded us to show up for the play. Yes, M likes to plan ahead.
I love that she’s thinking ahead and planning ahead. As dutiful and excited parents we are, we did all those things she asked. We were excited for her and the school. As I sat at the back of the theater and watched my little girl interacting with friends, running around with other children having a time of her life, excited for her first play ever in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I realized she’s growing up right before my eyes., in Thailand no less.
She’s having fun. She’s enjoying her life as a child, while learning and adapting to the world around her.
(More of this story + pics after the break)
After all those hours and days of practice, costume preparations and rehearsals M performed in FMF with many of her friends on stage for two nights at Chiang Mai University Art Center. It all came together. After the first show, I hugged and cried with Ms. Kat, M’s teacher and director of FMF (and who originated the idea). With the help and support of the primary school teachers and the principal, it came to fruition after all those months.
Many children had an opportunity to improve their English skills, and someone like M who loves theater, had a chance to shine and build her confidence on stage.
While eating dinner after the first show, I said to M “you have another show tomorrow!” M responded “I know, I wish I had a show everyday.”
I don’t know where this is all going. M is a child who sings her math problems. M is always humming, dancing and performing. So when she utter the words “I wish I had a show every day” as a parent, I think I need to listen to those messages carefully and pay attention.
I believe I will.
Thanks to Ms. Kat and everyone at the primary school for allowing a creative process unfold where children can gain language skills as well as their confidence. Truly a success story.
Here’s the e-mail I sent to M’s teacher and the principal after the show:
Just wanted to tell you again how proud we are of M and everyone involved in making the play a super success for two nights in a row. What a wonderful way to enhance the English language skills for some of the kids and at the same time bringing out the creativity side from them.
For M, this has been an exciting year for sure. She loves to act, sing, dance and perform so we are please to see her confidence rise before our eyes. I can see it in her eyes and her smiles. Thanks for making that happen. Now I”M in tears.
What a performance from everyone – on and off the stage!
J & A
Message to M: “Don’t confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other.” ~ Erma Bombeck