Each year, I get a little smarter.
I stayed home on Purim night, and went to bed at a reasonable hour, so I woke up well on Purim morning.
On Purim morning, not only do I have to arrive on time for Megillah reading, but I also have to help everyone with their costumes. This year, I had it pretty easy. I just had to make up A's face (white face, contrasted with very RED lips).
Y, my daughter, also wanted me to check her reading, as she practiced one last time. She read well. We were ready to go.
We arrived, right on time, at my daughter's school. There was even parking! (YAY!)
My daughter was reading the second half of tet (the ninth chapter), which is all the way at the end. It did not occur to me that this would give my daughter ample time to develop stage fright.
Of course, she had chosen to sit with her friends (instead of her boring old mother...), so I had no clue. (Actually, she was sitting with her madrichot (youth group counselors) who came to hear her read, and she was being a gracious hostess)
The other girls read well; one or two read particularly well. I was confident that Y would read at least as well.
I did not realize just how nervous she was until she started reading.
My daughter, who read so loudly and clearly at her Bat Mitzvah, read soooooo q-u-i-e-t-l-y. I was worried that people would not hear her. Thankfully, though the auditorium was packed, everyone could hear every word.
Y read her reading flawlessly. All the repetitions and the work at home paid off.
I was so proud of her!!
As soon as the reading was over, I told her what a good job she did!! She smiled so sweetly.
Then I mentioned that she did not read as loudly as she had when she practiced at home and I wondered if she was nervous.
She looked at me, her eyes wide and serious. "I was shaking!" she admitted.
Probably, nobody else could tell. But I knew how wonderfully she was capable of projecting her voice. I had heard her practicing.
Y justified her nervousness, quite matter-of-factly, as she explained that she spent almost a full year learning for her Bat Mitzvah parsha (portion) and only one week learning her Megillah reading.
I missed the opportunity to emphasize that she might have started preparing in earnest a little bit earlier. But I did not want to be too critical. Even if she had started preparing earlier, she only had about two and a half week's notice, and she had never even learned Megillah trope (cantillations). I wanted her to feel good about what she accomplished.
She really did an amazing job!
Later, one of my friends told me that Y's voice was sounded trained. My friend, who does not know my daughter well, said that when she heard the beautiful voice, she looked up and, only then, recognized my daughter.
Years ago, Y's choir teacher told me that Y has a very beautiful and distinctive voice.
I do not know much about voices, but I love listening to her sing.
I am so happy that she is using her voice for the good of her community.
I might just have to go hear her again next year....
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,