All over the place

Last week was another crazy one. The Princess had been sick, mostly with fever, but also she was listless and had no appetite. I took her to the doctor, since strep is going around her class (and pretty much everywhere else), but she didn’t have strep. Her liver seemed a little inflamed though, the doc said, and because of that, suggested we test her for mono. So great…no worries there…turned out she didn’t have mono, which was a relief, just a lingering virus, that made her especially cranky. The virus seems to be gone…now we’re still working on the cranky.

Friday, Edison started teaching himself to play the Super Mario Bros. theme on the piano. I went out to dinner with a friend, and when I came home, he was still banging on those keys. First thing Saturday morning, he was at it again.

Before I had even finished my coffee, fantasies of opening the oven door and leaving the gas on were dancing in my mind. By Sunday afternoon, Manfrengensen claimed to have been checking out flights to Japan on Expedia.com, with plans to hunt down the man who wrote the song and torture him, mostly just by following him around and singing the song.

Saturday night we were in church, and the kids were so good there. Not like the other time I told you about. Clooney was actually following along in the missal and even singing the songs. When the mass was over, I gave him kudos for his behavior, and he shrugged and said, “Well, yeah, it’s not like I’m here for nothing. What do you think, I just come here for all the standing and kneeling?” which I kind of thought was a funny thing for a nine-year-old to say.

Earlier in the day, I took Clooney and Edison to audition for a local commercial. I’m not a stage mom or anything, but I kind of know the guy who’s making the commercial. I asked the boys if they wanted to try, thinking it would be kind of fun, and they both agreed. Edison is more of a performer than Clooney is. Clooney’s a comedian, but he’s really dry, and he doesn’t really look for attention (unless someone has given him lemonade — that’s like feeding a Gremlin after midnight — watch out!)

Edison has done a couple of school plays, plus his toddler years were spent imitating Steve from Blues Clues, so he has a certain element of the musical-theatrical about him.

We went to the place where they were holding the auditions, and Edison went first. I could tell Clooney was nervous, so I pulled him into a hug to keep him still and whispered in his ear that there was nothing to be nervous about. “Just go in and be yourself,” I said.

“No,” he smiled, “I’m going to go in and be Billy.” Billy was the name of the character in the script. So obviously, he’s more of a method-kind of actor, comes from the Strasberg school (or the Strasberg preschool). Like he’s freakin’ Christian Bale or something. Go be the part, Clooney. Inhabit the role.

Anyway, afterward, they were both excited, it had been a fun experience, and I started to worry that one or both of them would be disappointed if he didn’t get the role. I said, you know, you both did well, (the director had said so) and if one of you didn’t get it, no big deal, they could just be looking for something else, someone younger or older or lighter or darker. It’s all luck sometimes. And then when we were in the car, I reminded them again, they could go with someone else entirely. The important thing was that we had fun today.

The boys agreed, and then Clooney whispered from the third row of the car, “Even though it’s going to be me.”

Well, this morning, we got word of the callback…and it was for Edison. The director stressed again that Clooney had done well, but he just wasn’t quite what they are looking for. I felt very proud of Edison, and I was kind of hoping Clooney wouldn’t be too sad about it. But he was. He cried. He cried! So I told him that these kind of endeavors are really just a crapshoot, and you can’t take any kind of setback too hard. I told him about all the rejection letters I had gotten for my children’s book a couple of years ago, and told him that even though no one bought it, I am still proud of it. And some day, maybe someone will want it, or something else I write. You can’t let it make you stop trying.

And I think he got that. He was cool after a while. He’ll try again. And we’ll see how Edison’s call back goes. You never know, because every day is a new adventure, right?

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