Over the weekend, however, listened to musicians Mark Arrington, and separately, Niall Mulligan. Both great and fun.
M and I spent part of Saturday cleaning up our home that'd been a mite neglected the previous week or so with my father's passing. Finishing up laundry (are those bubble socks dry YET?), packing, writing up some thoughts that could be used, if desired, for the touching lemon tree dedication on behalf of Dad that a journal reader was preparing. (Bless you!!! I'm SOOO touched!) I'd e-mailed M's dad, C, and his long-term girlfriend, Sh, with our plans to arrive that afternoon and what about getting M and her half-sister, Si, together in part to practice their 2-hand for Sunday? I didn't hear back.
Beautiful day. Got newspapers out, Daisy out a LOT, and the key to a neighbor dog-owner. Finally, we drove south, quite slowly in northern Virginia (seemed almost ironic that they have these outrageous speeding fines right now, when no one is hardly moving), finally arriving at the feis hotel. We'd missed the music competitions (dag), but MegaMAID and Irishrunner and Hop_123 and others were dancing their adult competitions within 20 minutes, so M and I raced to the front of the hotel. One ground floor room had their blinds open, ah, C, Sh, and Si! M stopped for a quick hello.
Later, L and A's mothers were hosting a pizza bash in their hotel room; I called C, invited him (Sh, Si), to join the several other families who they also know, from M and Si's Irish dance school. He didn't ask what room M was staying in. Almost 1/2 hour later, those gathered were heading back downstairs to watch more of MegaMAID's dances. I went to call C back, so that they didn't show to an empty room. Another parent assurred me that she knew they'd gone out to dinner. Hey, that's fine.
Walking about the early feisers Sunday morning, M spotted Si practicing her hardshoe dances with the yellow duct tape she prefers, all dressed, hair curled, in her pale blue feis earrings that match her solo dress C had bought her but she's not eligible yet to wear, seemingly excited and ready to go. M and I joined C and Sh in watching Si, M and Sh giving appropriate pointers. M and Si did one run through of their 2-hand. M knows 3, so that was good for her to do. Figured we'd catch them later, also. (C didn't say a word to me (the entire weekend except when I called his cell phone). Shrug. It's been practically 14 years since we've been together (well, back tentatively almost close to M's birth), can't he get over the whatever already?)
M wanted to watch various dancers, Si,and some friends, and get dressed herself. Figures dances (which includes the 2-hand Si danced with M), were in the middle of this feis, along with Treble Reel, followed by a 30-minute lunch break. Often times, figures kicks off a feis, and Trebel Reels end it. Si just looked up, beaming at her big sister, when she danced with M; very sweet to watch. They competed against A and L!, and another team. C cheered and hooted as if in an outdoor sporting arena, along with some others, every time Si danced figures (she did the same 2-hand with age-matched, G). The judge was "appalled," at the lack of decorum (atypical of a feis).
C talked with M about her next dance, Treble Reel (which she won 1st in again! yeah with Chitty Bang; L won 2nd; and another friend was split into the other Treble Reel group and got 3rd). Hearing of the potential stage conflict (and fast shoe change required), C suggested that M talk with the stage manager on the Treble Reel stage, "He's a nice guy." I already had, for M and for L, and yes, that stage manager and his friend joined with several others of us, including a musician, for a while Saturday night, so M and I knew he was a reasonable sort. I just smiled. C asked if her Treble Reel "counted," suggesting if M had to chose, that she stick with the figures. Ultimately, there was no problem, and both M and L had time not only to change into their hardshoes, but change out of their school dresses into their solo dresses.
After break, were the Novice and Open Prizewinner dances (reel, then light jigs M and L weren't doing, slip jig, treble jig, and hornpipe). Si had a couple Novice dances after break. I missed M's reel for finishing checking out of our room argh. A former boyfriend now friend, SO, caught me before Slip Jigs to ask for help with his pretty youngest DD's wig (ack, M and another adult and I got her wig on!) SO's beautiful oldest no longer dances Irish step dancing; they'd been in a very competitive-oriented ID school and the young one shot up so quickly. She's happy Si is 8 years younger than M (who is fine with adorable Si's accomplishments, proud of her). (For the record, SO is close with both of his daughter's, sometimes taking other classes just with oldest; he isn't chosing one over the other but supportive of both, fully 50% custody and involved.)
In the larger room with four stages, we got to watch several friends dance. SO commented on how very well M danced her Slip Jig. Yes, she did if I say so myself:) Gorgeous. It earned her a 2nd place (nicely done; she DID win a 1st in her Slip Jig at that last feis YEAH, so technically "has" that dance already).
Sh came to watch M's Treble Jig, "This is the dance M needs, right?" Yes. We discussed the screw up of the Team #'s for the figures (the feis accidently placed Si as dancing with L, and M as dancing with A). I am not sure where C was. He may have watched M's Slip Jig, but I don't recall seeing him there for that. As far as I can tell, he was gone by M's Treble Jig, and also missed her Hornpipe. M nailed that Hornpipe! great job, earning her (another) 1st!
M didn't know when C left. He didn't say good-bye. She wasn't surprised, and hadn't anticipated it.
Sh and Si were in the awards room later (that particular group of volunteers, um, we'll just say they could use some training, NOT checking judges sheets for us for the 2-hand so that could have been resolved Sunday, and twice NOT giving M the correct award for her Treble Reel, nor really wishing to take time on either. The rest of the feis was very well run and organized, great feis and this awards room chaos and attitude are my only minor in the scheme of things complaint, which the registrar is taking care of now after the fact so all is fine).
We ran into LessConfirmingGirl in the vendor room, still teary-eyed. She'd placed for the first time in 6 years, 5th place. A high school senior, formerly a child wonder champion, she was SOOO happy. V was in the same competition, winning 3rd! LCGirl said they were just crying on that side of the podium. I saw V's father, "Even your dad is smiling." He laughed, and came over. He's not one who typically smiles a lot when there are several hours of driving home to do, and many dollars just spent, even with the support of, and pride he has in V. "So, was it worth it?" Big grin now, "Yes."
SO saw us again at the end of the day, his youngest with a few Prizewinner trophies (good!), me having won the raffle of a feis bucket and other gear. Originally, he'd helped guide us into an ID school for M, who started years after his 2 girls; I don't think he knew how close M was to preliminary championship level even while I said that I'm in no rush for M to get there. I'd be thrilled if she gets that 1st in Treble Jig, oh yes, yet to move up? It seems to be an entirely different ballgame. He said he knows several who have stayed years in Prelims. M is doing very well in Prizewinner right now. It's okay.
I'd been introducing him to others occasionally, and pointed out L when he came over. He had stayed with his two girls closer to the ocean beach. I told him that there were 34 competitors from M and Si's Irish dance school (two didn't dance but entered art and baking, and some of the dancers also entered the music competitions). We stayed in the hotel for the camaderie. M had friends, and so did I. Even L and M, who were in thee exact same competitions Sunday, and had been for years now, had friendship come first.
It was 28.5 hours away from thoughts of Dad and other issues. It was a road-trip away, yet with friends. For a bit, L, A, OHBoy, and M, hung out in our room Saturday. A had to dance early Sunday, but with an injured foot, expectations were low. Her mother okayed her staying up a bit longer, "This is what she'll remember 30 years from now." Ah, yes indeed.
M had fun, "Mom, I want to do MORE feiseanna next year!" Well, we'll see about how doable that is. We did have fun:)
C hasn't called M to see how she ended up doing. (He also hasn't brought her eyeglasses yet he promised her the 10th.)
She was to go over there last night, but he couldn't pick her up, and it'd be late before Sh could pick up M (Sh called Monday to switch nights). M was happy, as she had school pictures earlier today and wanted to pick out clothes from our home instead.
"....I only get to go to feisanna [sic] [when at my dad's house] because Si wants to. There are over 20 pictures on their refrigerator that include Si, I counted. There are just over 10 with me in it. When I'm there, it's all about Si. When I'm at my mother's, everything is around me as I'm the only one there." (M had written that in her school work journal I hadn't planned to find while checking on her schoolwork.)
Sh hopes that M will cancel plans to go out with Md and other friends to join Si on Halloween. C hasn't expressed nor said anything (M might feel differently if he called M and said he'd like to "do" Halloween with her). We all love Si, really, and I can understand Si wanting M to join her and Sh encouraging that, it's fine by me. Just that M wants her dad to care about her as much as he does about Si. M has her friends, too; she's 13 now. I'm letting M chose.