I'm tired now. I got up a little earlier than I had hoped to this morning, and now it's the middle of the afternoon and for the first time in years I feel like I could use a nap. It probably has something to do with feeling more than a tad wistful. I'm closing in on the end of an era, and I don't have an official response just yet, but I'm working on it.
This will be my last year running the Variety Show at my son's elementary school. I am somewhat certain that they would happily accept my help if I were to return next year, but it would only be in an advisory capacity. For the past five years, I have been the creative and organizational force behind the annual parade of student and staff talent. Now it's time to pass the torch, or at least lay it carefully on the ground to see if anyone is interested in picking it up.
Because that is the true nature of volunteer work. When my son was in kindergarten, I went to a meeting of the Dads' Club. They were looking for someone who wanted to take over the reins of the show business arm of the organization. That responsibility was primarily aimed at gathering acts for the show and lining up advertisers for the program. The bonus for me was that there was an all-dads act as the traditional show closer. I offered to write a little skit, a spoof on Harry Potter that ended in a cream-pie fight. It was a big hit.
The next year was a little more comfortable, and I took over the job as Master of Ceremonies in addition to writing and producing. Each spring after that has offered me my own tiny show biz flurry, and now it is coming to a close. I made a mental note of the last time I opened the sound system for the auditions. One of my secret joys has been having a great big stereo to blast into my own personal multi-purpose room. I set out a few chairs for parents and sibling. I took an extra moment with each of the acts to encourage them do everything just a little bit bigger, just a little bit brighter. It will be their time to shine.
And then, after three hours of auditions ("tryouts" for those more sensitive parents), it was over. I unplugged the microphones, turned off the spotlights, and locked up the sound system. I'll be back in a couple of weeks to rehearse, but the clock is ticking. Happily, my fifteen minutes of fame have stretched out for six years. Not a bad career, all in all.