I scoured the city for different color sealing waxes. I pondered which stamps would appeal to fourth graders. I chose sheets of parchment paper of varying hues. I proudly arranged my wares on the assigned desk.
I carefully lit matches and supervised as wax languidly dripped on the parchment, I relaxed in the warmth of the wax.
About five groups had finished when the principal came in the classroom.
“Smoke! What’s all that smoke?”
My station was shuttered and I was forced to move to another station.
Part Two: Knit, the Myth
“You can help with the finger-knitting.” I was told.
“Do you think I can maybe do something else? I’m not good with things like that.”
“Nonsense! If fourth-graders can learn, so can you!”
I tried, I really did, but after seeing the third student unravel their project and hearing one boy say, “Don’t ask that mom for help, she doesn’t know what she’s doing.”
I decided that not everyone was cut out for finger knitting.
Part Three: The Dance
The dance portion of Colonial Days was the “really fun part”. It was set up in the elementary school gymnasium and the classrooms were divided into groups to do the Virginia Reel.
When I went to high school square dancing was a state-mandated part of the physical education curriculum. I knew my Reel but was tired from overseeing two failed projects so I leaned against the padded walls with the other parents.
My daughter’s teacher caught my eye as she swung toward me she said, “Take my place for a minute!” and she passed her partner’s sweaty hand into mine.
The fourth-grade boy looked at me as if I were a Stephen King creature but bravely promenaded with me down the line. We spun off to allemande left and right but when I came back to center, I saw my partner scurrying out the side gym door.
The principal gamely stepped in so I wouldn’t be right-ing and left-ing alone but as I came back to center, he abruptly turned heel and dashed away.
Maybe it was my smoky clothes, or my fingers rough from finger-knitting, I don’t know, I do know that I allemande right and then allemande left out the door.