Thursday, January 31, 2008

Maylin sings "Jingle Bells"

This evening was "Culture Night" at Maylin's school. Potluck of international foods, demonstration of Indian dance and African drumming by students, and activities including tortilla and gnocchi making (separate tables, of course), basket weaving (at least that's what it looked like), nail polishing (hmm...how is that cultural?), painting, and origami (I volunteered to teach jumping frogs and balloons). The evening was fun but getting there was quite an ordeal. I made it hard on myself by making a bacon and leek quiche entirely from scratch (including the pastry crust*) so it took a little longer than planned (I had to wrap my hot-out-of-the-oven quiche in a beach towel and throw it in the back of the car with the stroller). And then Stefan was very fussy because he was tired. Fortunately, Maylin was easy to get ready.

Stefan was a very good baby sitting on my lap throughout dinner (can all moms balance a paper plate full of food in one hand and a baby in another?) and in his stroller for most of the activity time. Maylin painted and made tortillas with her friends. I was so happy she came over to my table and learned how to make the frog and balloon.

But she really impressed me on the drive back home. Out of the blue, she said, "Let's sing 'Jingle Bells.'" This may not sound earth-shattering to you, but for me, this was the first time she sang an entire song in front of me. It was just the refrain (about three times), but I had never heard her singing voice before really, and it was so sweet and clear, and surprisingly strong. And although some of the words were approximations, it was the best rendition I had ever heard.

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