Today’s post is primarily for the family. I try to avoid falling into the trap of being one of those grandmothers– going on and on about my grandchildren. I do happen to think they are perfect–grandmothers can feel that way–I advise against that kind of thinking if you’re the parent. But fortunately for my friends, my mom and I don’t get tired of swapping stories, thus sparing others the need to listen to endless cute and entertaining anecdotes.
But today is special. I hope you’ll indulge me.
Our youngest grandchild, Karina, is four years old today.
From the time Karina was no more than about 18 months old I have been calling her Sarah Bernhardt. I could probably benefit from updating my list of famous actresses by about 90 years, but somewhere in my youth I read a biography of the French actress, and remember, “The Divine Sarah,” as “the most famous actress the world has ever known.”
By and large we aren’t a limelight seeking family. In fact, we tend to be comfortable in our supporting roles–behind the scenes players. Karina, on the other hand, was made for the stage.
From the time she was teeny-tiny she’d make eye contact with strangers, batting her eyelashes and charming anyone who’d notice her. And if they didn’t notice, she’d make any necessary adjustments, including throwing a fit–Aha! They’d notice then, and with the skill of a seasoned actress, as soon as heads turned, she’d quickly be all smiles.
Before she was two she copied dance routines seen on television. I remember her mommy calling to tell me that she had tried to “dance up the wall” like the performer. I’ve also caught her studying an actor’s facial expressions and trying to copy them in a mirror.
She loves to tell stories, embellishing them with hand motions and wild facial exaggerations. Her creativity in story telling frustrates her sister. Sophia pulled me aside the other day to suggest, “Don’t listen to her. She tells folk tales.” I think she meant tall tales, but you get the point.
At a recent preschool talent show we were entertained by the Divine Miss K. She topped all previous performances.
As soon as she took the stage with the other children she turned on the attitude–and also turned her back on the crowd. She channeled her inner diva, making sure she got the laugh. She did.
As one of the group songs came to an end, she did a hair toss, turned on her heels and to our surprise, made an overtly dramatic exit.
I’m not sure what others thought, but I’ve watched her study other performers and become absorbed in a character. And if you’re on a stage, don’t you become someone else? It’s hard to know what role she thought she was playing, but it was a stand-out performance!
This weekend we celebrated Karina’s birthday and she wasn’t playing a role. She was just one happy little girl. She’s been anticipating her 4th birthday for months, even choosing her own birthday cake from a children’s cookbook.
Happy Birthday, Miss Karina. You are one precious little girl.
Oscar Wilde coined the nickname “The Divine Sarah,” so I will use another of his famous quotes as my birthday wish for our sweet Karina. “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken,” and if that includes being a little diva…well then,shine!