Jessica made her stage debut at 16 months old – being carried on stage for the finale of a fundraising concert that we’d organised. We were raising money for the intensive care unit where she had been treated and her entrance just at the key change in “When You Believe” was an emotional one. The song had been very meaningful to me during my pregnancy with Jessica – with its lyrics “there can be miracles when you believe, though hope is frail, it’s hard to kill” – and it had taken weeks of rehearsal for me to be able to sing it without tears.
Fast-forward a couple of years and Jessica has just put on her very first concert for us. Grandma’s front room was her chosen venue and as we made ourselves comfortable on the sofas, she held out her arms dramatically and announced “Ladies and gentlemen! My name is Jessica and I’m going to put on a show!” before launching into her first number – The Wheels on the Bus, complete with actions. Musical accompaniment came from the hand bell she had picked up beforehand from Grandma’s music room, which was enthusiastically waved about.
Her next number – “If You’re Happy and You Know It” was one in which audience participation was actively encouraged and was followed by a gentle rendition of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” If we were a little slow to applaud, we were encouraged to do so by her reminder to “clap your hands”. More audience participation was required for “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” which was followed by “Wind the Bobbin Up”. The finale was a reprise of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” before Jessica announced that the show was “closed now and going to sleep”.
With both parents being performers as well as three out of the four grandparents, perhaps it is not too surprising that Jessica seems to have inherited the perfoming gene. It is lovely to see her sing so confidently and I’m looking forward to watching many more shows in the future.