If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you’ll know that Amelia May, my goddaughter, is one of the undisputed stars. She was born as The World’s Most Beautiful Baby, transitioned into The World’s Most Beautiful Toddler, then became a dancer and a princess as The World’s Most Beautiful Pre-Schooler. Now she is Six. And Six is a wonderful age. Because Six is when all the initial promise and nascent talent of earlier years begins to blossom in exciting and spectacular ways. Six is when it all comes together.
For instance, Amelia couldn’t have been much older than Two when she could watch any dance routine on TV and copy it almost step by step. We suspected that she had a special talent for dance. But now that ability has propelled her into several dance troupes at her very artsy school. She already has two public dance recitals under her belt, during which she performed some pretty complicated routines flawlessly. But when I told her how talented she was, she noted, “You have to practice a LOT to dance.” That’s the attitude that gets you to Broadway, folks.
Amelia’s early flair for the dramatic has reached Streepian levels — especially now that she has a cast of thousands of Barbies and Fairy and Princess dolls to take all the parts. I’ve been invited to join in these theatricals, but apparently my improvisational abilities are sorely lacking. Amelia May has to coach me constantly on all my lines. Because, Amelia the Auteur always moves the plot in unexpected directions.
Take Barbie — or rather the Barbie clan — who received a beautifully appointed four story Mid-Century Modern dream house for Christmas. For Amelia’s birthday, the Barbies got a Dream Corvette. Basically, the Barbies have everything. They are Kardashians. They are a small tribe of Paris Hiltons. When Amelia sat me down to play Barbies at her birthday party, I thought the theme of the play would be their over-the-top consumerism and displays of conspicuous consumption. After all, these plastic haired bee-yotches have a Dream House with an elevator! But Amelia the Auteur had a different script in mind. Before you could say, “Great Leapin’ Lizards”, she had dubbed the Barbies orphans and had them all singing a chorus of “It’s a Hard Knock Life”. This is how you win an Oscar for screenwriting, folks.
In the last several years, Amelia and I have not missed a single instance of Disney On Ice. That’s saying a lot, because Uncle Walt makes sure a production hits our town at least once every three months. That’s inspired Amelia May to take lessons and practice her moves on Sharks Ice where San Jose’s hockey team practices. In fact, it’s also where our home-grown world class skaters hone their skills. Amelia May will soon be among them. As she told Polina Edmunds when they ran into each other on the ice, “I’m going to the Olipsticks like you soon!” And you should bet your money she will.
She’ll do anything she sets her mind to. Because now she is Six.
When I was one,
I had just begun.
When I was two,
I was nearly new.
When I was three,
I was hardly me.
When I was four,
I was not much more.
When I was five,
I was just alive.
But now I am six,
I’m as clever as clever.
So I think I’ll be six
now and forever.
Which it never stopped playing, even after we’d ripped it off the cake and dunked it in a glass of water. As I left the party, it was still burbling away softly under water. I think the annoyance factor far outweighed the novelty. And I’m still not convinced the full extent of its flammability was tested.