Last week, due to a scheduling conflict, I alone took my youngest daughter Trinity and Justice to her ‘end of the school year’ festa.
And what an opportunity it was!
It was hosted by the “mother” school in our district and was THE event to attend this Saturday evening. Classes from each represented school had an opportunity to put on a “show” of their choice. Some of the other kindergarten classes dressed up in precious flower, bumble-bee or cloud costumes and pranced around the stage with bent petals and falling off stingers. They were cute, don’t get me wrong, but the real treat came last. (I think they knew, and saved the best for last!)
For weeks Trinity would come home from school and complain about the practice they had to do in preparation for the party at the end of the year. She fussed about how long she had to stand there, and how her arms were so tired they were going to ‘fall off’ from waving her flag so much.
I had no idea what this party was all about, I just knew that there were seamstresses involved, many ‘fittings’ and there was going to be a hefty price tag attached to the ‘beautiful green dress’ she was getting to wear. The seamstress came to the school on several occasions, would pass me in the hall and tell me how beautiful Trinity was going to be. Everything seemed to be quite secretive actually.
Well, the night finally arrived. The party, as does everything else in this country, began at 9:00. (PM!!!!) We arrived with her hair in a ballerina ball as I was told and as usual, we waited on everyone else to show up.
Finally the time came when we were allowed to move into the dressing area and we finished off the costumes with bows, sashes, and flowers.
Right before the children took their places on stage in front of a crowd of about 1500 people, Trinity was handed a Portuguese flag.
The night was cool and there was a strong breeze coming in from the Atlantic. She took her place on stage, wrapped the flag around herself and then looked out at the crowd……
I just knew she was about to cry and take off running. But instead….the music began and the little girl up front began to lip sync a song in traditional Fado music….
….and then Trinity came alive!
She was so sweet….and I cried during the whole thing.
The music, although I understood very little, was beautiful. Many were singing along and crying as well as they understood the meaning behind the song. I wish I knew the name so I could better understand and translate some of the lyrics for you.
The gist was this…….This is Portugal. We are Portuguese. We are proud.
But not in a yelling, in-your-face type song….but a heart felt, longing…..traditional Fado music. (here is a link for a sample of this type of music)
And Trinity’s little blond head was on that stage waving that flag the entire time. That was her sole purpose…. to wave the Portuguese flag for all to see.
Now…last week I cried while standing in the butcher’s (I know..I’m weepy lately) when on the TV came the American National Anthem as the USA was about to play in the World Cup. Before I knew who was playing, I had no interest in anything except for the man in front of me to hurry up. But after I heard ‘my anthem’ played….well, I was glued to the screen and saw people dressed in costumes like Abraham Lincoln and George Washington…I couldn’t help but to feel proud.
But on this Saturday night, I was experiencing the same type of feeling. It wasn’t ‘my anthem’ playing, but it was the realization that I have fallen in love with this beautiful country. With it’s people, with it’s traditions, with it’s rich history. My children will be more Portuguese than they are American. I’m okay with this. They’re almost to that point already….I mean what American kid doesn’t know what Reese’s Pieces are?!
So here I am today…spilling my guts in a way too long blog post about my lovely ‘adopted’ country….and my precious blond headed ‘Portuguese’ daughter.
Portugal has it’s problems, but so does America…and I still love her.
“Thank you Lord for putting us here. Please bless our efforts and open hearts so that we can share of your amazing love.”