Realms Of Possibility

Entry by: J.P.

18th December 2018

“I’m going to be an owl, Mummy”.
My daughter, Pippa, informed me that this was to be her role in the school’s nativity play. An owl. I ask you. She was a donkey last year. How do I begin to make an owl costume?
“Lovely dear. That’ll be fun” Secretly, I had hoped that she would have been centre stage this year. Mother Mary, perhaps or a shepherd. Is that really beyond the realms of possibility? Perhaps next year.
I bought two brown pillow slips and some brown crepe paper and spent several evenings –and days- cutting out leaf-like feathers and sewing them onto the pillow slips. After cutting four holes in one side so that at least she would be able to see and breathe, I then cut two large black rings from card and sewed them on to make large eyes. A brown pair of tights would finish the ensemble. I felt quite pleased with myself.
It was trying on time. I had butterflies in my stomach. What is she didn’t like it? Get a grip, girl. This is a fantastic owl costume.
“Hello, Mrs. Owl” I said as soon as she had donned her outfit. “’Owl are you today”?
Thankfully she laughed at my effort at humour. Then she removed her owl mask.
“What’s wrong? Don’t you like it? You look fantastic.”
“I need a ladybird”.
“Ladybird? Why do you need a ladybird?”
“Mrs. Carter said so.”
Well, who am I to argue with Mrs. Carter?
I am ashamed to say that I used google. I read on one site-yes, I did go on more than one- that the ladybird was named after the Virgin Mary. Perhaps that’s why they wanted one in the stable scene. I decided on seven spots, six legs and two feelers.
One red painted ping pong ball with black felt tip permanent pen spots, and black pipe cleaners later I had a ladybird look- a- like in my hands.
The day of the nativity play arrived. My mother and I joined the throng of parents and carers battling to find best seats in the school hall.
The play commenced and Joseph and Mary eventually came to the stable. I looked anxiously for Pippa. No sign. I knew it. She couldn’t see through the holes in the pillow slip, she had fallen, she had missed the play. It was all my fault. Shepherds and various cuddly toy sheep arrived. Where was she? Finally the three wise men entered stage left and, to my astonishment, so had Pippa. She was one of the wise men.
The play ended with rapturous applause and we were all encouraged to stay for tea and mince pies whilst the children were getting changed, Mrs Carter came up to me. She handed me the owl costume.
“Mrs. Randall. I think there was a tiny, little bit of a hiccup with communication. Pippa was chosen to be a wise man carrying incense. Not a wise owl carrying an insect. Lovely costume though.”
I was somewhat embarrassed but that was soon forgotten as I realized that it had been within the realms of possibility. My daughter had, at last, made centre stage.