You're eight years old and can't stop bouncing with joy. You've just learned that Daddy is taking you to a musical. You get to dress in your Sunday best, sit in red-cushioned seats with gold-plated numbers, and hold your very own ticket in a real performing arts theater. Wicked is coming to your town, and as your parents briefly explain the story line to you, your eyes and smile get wider until they don't quite fit your face anymore. Your parents remind you that your favorite song as a two year old came from this play, and then they start playing the music for you. Over the next two weeks they listen to every song with you and explain the details of the plot (because the build-up is sometimes the greatest part of the experience).
Finally the day arrives. You have several of the songs memorized by now and the anticipation keeps popping inside you as you sit through your second grade classes and ride the bus home. The bus seems to take longer than usual, and you greet your mom with a skip in your step and ask, Is it time to get ready now?!
Yes. Yes it is. Come in and have a snack while I draw your bath, young lady.
You and your mom work together to scrub your body clean. Your mom even brings out the nail scrubber and you laugh as the bristles tickle under your toenails. Manicures and pedicures are next; you choose a solid color somewhere between the girlish pink and the darkest red and even decide not to alternate colors this time. It seems more grown-up that way. Your hair, now that it's cut short, is dry by the time your nails are and only needs three minutes with a curling iron to turn it fancy because of the beautiful, natural curl you already have. You don't like the heat and crinkle your face up in worry each time the hot iron spins toward your face. But you're brave. And you don't move. There is no question, when Mom gives you access to her earrings, that you will choose the dangliest of them all. You laugh when you feel them touching your neck. You finally find the right dress after changing your mind twice, slip the white fabric over your beautiful face, and can't stop smiling at your reflection after the final touch of lip-gloss puts a sparkle to your lips.
Daddy shows up. And he has flowers.
Your Daddy is dashing in his suit.
And you are so beautiful.
Mom puts the point and shoot camera into your hands and instructs you to get pictures while you're there and to remember every detail so you can tell her all about it when you get back home. She'll wait up for you.
You waste no time with the camera.
You draw attention as you walk across the street and into the performing arts center. You're smaller than most everyone; you skip with excitement; you shine in your white dress; and you showcase the love between you and your tall and handsome date by holding his hand and chattering unceasingly with your face pointed up in his direction. Person after person stops you to comment on how lovely you look.
You come back to the house at around 11:00pm. Tired eyes full of sparkles. You laugh over and over again and change into your pajamas as you tell and retell your favorite parts of the musical to your mom. And then you collapse in a tired heap.
And probably dream in green.