You know how everyone needs a little ego-boost every now and then? Well, I got one last night…granted it was from a four year old, but still. I’ll take what I can get.
Last night was the preschool board and staff holiday potluck. See, I was just officially hired on as the music teacher at the boys’ preschool. In exchange for Zach’s tuition, I’ll teach my classes there two days a month. Yep, our little Zach is in school now! And la-oving it! He’s by far the youngest in the “early 3’s” class. (The rest of the kids turn 3 by December 31st. He won’t until April 28th! But because Mrs. Mac had Matthew in her class last year, she knows us and she’s seen that Zach is ready, she made an exception for him). And he’s not only the youngest; he’s also the only boy. The class is six little girls…and Zach! It’s hilarious.
Anyway, this tuition-for-music-classes swap officially started this week. Zach will be in preschool every Thursday and Friday morning, and I’ll teach one Monday and one Thursday a month. While, we’ve just officially started I have taught a couple of times already. I volunteered my musical services to the teachers – once before Halloween and once before Thanksgiving so that we could do some of the fun holiday-themed music that I’ve done in my other classes.
Back to my ego boost ‘cuz that’s what this is really about. Ever since I did the couple of classes, one of the little girls, Elizabeth, in the other 4/5yr. old class always looks at me shyly and whispers to her mom, “That’s Ms. Jenny. She’s the one who sings and does music.” This isn’t out of the ordinary. I’m occasionally accosted at the grocery store or the park by a herd of admiring 2-5 year olds chanting, “Ms. Jenny. Ms. Jenny. Ms. Jenny.” OK, not really, but I would say that the majority of people who seem to REALLY like me (and that I bump into out in public) are under the age of 5 and know me as “Ms. Jenny” and somehow I’m magical because I shake shakers and dance with scarves.
So, Elizabeth’s mom Becky was at the preschool potluck last night. It was the first chance that I’ve had to actually meet and REALLY get to talk to some of the other moms. Becky, just like her daughter, kind of watched me shyly from across the room. She smiled when we made eye contact but didn’t make an attempt to come and chat…which was fine, I was talking to other ladies. Anyway, when I went over to get a plate (to fill up with all sorts of high-calorie and very-bad-for-you holiday appetizers and desserts), she approached me.
“Hi…!” I say (still not yet knowing her name so consciously avoiding it).
“Ms. Jenny,” she says, with a piercing gaze, “My daughter is obsessed with you. She talks about you all the time.”
“Oh, hahaha (weird giggle), that’s cute,” I say. “She’s been great in class.”
“No, you don’t get it. Like she’s OBSESSED with you. You are her…,” she searches for the right word, “You are her Miley Cyrus. Her Hannah Montana. If there were Ms. Jenny bed sheets and posters, she would TOTALLY have them. A Ms. Jenny t-shirt? She would wear it all the time.” (The flash thought crosses my mind, hmmmm, is there something to this? Should I consider coming out with a bedding line? Maybe an action figure?! You know you’ve really made it if you have an action figure).
She continues, “I couldn’t tell her that you would be here tonight or there’s no way she would’ve gone to bed. I’m sure she would have waited up to hear all about it. And the times that you’ve come to do music? She has talked about you non-stop for the rest of the day. And then, thanks to your song sheet we have all the words to all the songs you do. We’re singing them ALL the time.” (Hmmm, I don’t know if this last part is a good or bad thing).
“Well, then you better not tell her, I’m coming in next Friday to do music. She might not sleep for a week!” I semi-snort-joke.
Becky looks at me seriously, “You’re right. I won’t. It would be like Christmas Eve and waiting for Santa’s arrival…EVERY night.”
Another mom comes up and Becky fills her in on just how obsessed Elizabeth is with me. Yes, apparently Elizabeth is the president of the Ms. Jenny fan club. I tell the women, that I definitely don’t mind the obsessed fans. Oh no, I can handle it. We continue chatting and eventually move on to less Ms. Jenny-themed topics.
While Elizabeth is maybe a bit over the top and if she starts staking out my house, I will consider beefing up security; fame is just part of the game. And I must push through. Plus, I need all the ego-boosting I can get. All I have to do is sing a couple of words and people shout at me. Both Zach and Matthew, yell, “MOMMY! NO SINGING!...STOP SINGING! … only BOYS are allowed to sing!” I’m sure it’s kind of like the preacher’s kid being the one who rebels. Or the doctor’s kid getting so sick and tired of hearing about washing his hands, exercising and eating right that he’s just plain nasty. You get the idea. I’m the music teacher, therefore I get scolded and mocked for anything musical done in my home. It is the cross that I must bare. And since my own kids don’t think I rock, I’ll get my admiring fans elsewhere! Quite frankly, I may go out of my way to talk to little Elizabeth not to make her day, but to make mine!