(I know the word "dork" should indicate my son has done something, but that isn't the case. However, be assured that my daughter's involvement in dorkiness is my fault, not hers.)
Anyway, although she is a bit old for it, my daughter volunteered to stick around with the littler children and participate in the Christmas musical at church, which I am directing. Because of casting needs, she was cast as the Beth, the Star of Bethlehem. That was okay to her (she really wanted to be an angel instead), but for months we've wondered what to do about a costume.
I searched, and I searched, but it wasn't until last week that I found one, on the Oriental Trading website, of all places. (I didn't even know they had costumes!) Here it is, in all its illustrious glory:
I was worried. Almost twelve is a great age for worrying what people think. We only had one more rehearsal, too, to get used to it.
So, Sunday morning, I forced her to wear it during practice. She didn't want to. She was hoping to just "forget" to wear it at the last minute, so that everyone would just have to pretend it was there.
No dice. She reluctantly put it on, and then ran through her lines and movements with everyone else. After two scenes, her voice was too quiet to hear, her face down, her body language defeated. She hated the costume. She thought she looked ridiculous. She was a dork.
But then something magical happened, and it was all her doing. She realized, first of all, that her arms didn't have to stick out the slits on the sides. She could shove them deep into the star's points above her shoulders. And the costume was soft, so she could make the star's points move, squish together, wave, curl around other character's ponytails, etc.
Even more, once other people saw what she was doing, and laughed, she realized how immensely entertaining the movements were. Suddenly she wasn't the stupid kid in the even stupider costume. She was the funny kid in the goofy costume--and she was hilarious! And happy. And her voice grew louder and more animated. And her movements were happy, filled with energy, and she was focused on the play with an intensity she had NEVER expressed before.
Yup. She'd done it all by herself, too. She'd embraced her inner dork and realized its worth. She chose acceptance and self-deprecation over stodgy insistence on decorum. Too bad more people can't seem to make this choice. I'm not saying it would make the world a better place, but it would make for a little more entertainment. And they'd be happier, too.
Now the only thing left is to keep my daughter from stealing the show with that costume of hers--that dorky, goofy, funny, scene-stealing star costume.
Are you embracing your inner dork? Funny how embracing it makes it oh-so-much-less dorky.