Sunday, May 3, 2015

When I'm Gone.

Watching Anna Kendrick.
      Right now I'm watching my sister, Mikhaila, and my daughter, Stella, practice the Anna Kendrick, "Cups Song," routine.  They both say they knew how to do it at one point, or thought they did.  They just needed some practice, they said.  I'm trying not to cry.
     This moment: this moment in time, and place, and situation, and sound, and sight is something I have wanted to see since I can remember.  My sister and my daughter.
      "I'm just trying to become the best teacher I can be... Haha, I really am," Mikhaila giggles as she focuses her attention on Stella, but realizes I am watching them.
      They have the same mannerisms, talking with their hands, and expressive faces, even when they aren't trying to copy Anna Kendrick's video.  They are a lot alike, really. Mikhaila is watching Stella so attentively, being so very encouraging, and smiling.  Stella is delighted, and being her feisty, expressive self. 
     "I can't sing that fast.  I'd have to be a rapper to keep up with that beat," Mikhaila says and Stella smiles. "You just want to make it a competition of who can do it faster, don't you?"
      "No, I just like doing it faster."
      I was 10 when Mikhaila was born and she was my little buddy.  I think Mikhaila always wanted my daughter to be her little buddy, even though she's my best friend.  It's the natural succession of things, right?Stella is trying to do "cups" so fast, she has to keep flattening her palms against the cool glass of the doors behind her. "This hurts my hands," she says.
         "That's because you're doing it so fast! I'm a little scared of you right now."  
         Mikhaila looks up at me and says,  "She's a youngin', she's got faster reflexes."
         She and Stella Giggle.  "I'm like, uh..." Mikhaila says, mimicking the speed and force of Stella's version of the routine.  She can't keep up with this eight year old fireball.  Who can?They finally got it, to some sort of "performance ready," although Stella keeps changing the plans and the rules.  Mikhaila is laughing as Stella gives her instructions...  Oh, I remember a little girl just like Stella...As they grow in confidence, I film their performance, and suddenly Michael throws a rubber snake into the mix.  "Machete Snake!" he yells, and runs off.  
          "We've got one child who made cups lethal, and one child whose got a machete snake.  I'm a little frightened of your children right now," my sister takes on her perfectly serious, not serious voice.
        Stella begins again, ready to keep practicing, despite the snake attack, and Mikhaila looks at me, smiling knowingly, and starts clapping and slapping her cup.

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