At least a few months have passed since I've shared a story about Hallie wreaking havoc on the library, primarily because Hallie seems to have finally smoothed out her relationship with that community institution. Thank goodness. (This, and this, and this.)
My most interesting Hallie stories now stem from her behavior during Will's Tae Kwon Do lessons (remember this predicament she and I found ourselves in last year?) and a couple of weeks ago she gifted me a adorably entertaining and only mildly embarrassing one - wrapped up like a festive Christmas present and topped with a sparkly red bow - just when I needed it.
Despite its massive, wide open, rectangular footprint and lofty ceilings, Will's Tae Kwon Do gym stays relatively quiet. When the instructors or kids are talking, most parents feel comfortable talking quietly among themselves. But when the instructors demonstrate or kids practice individual moves and form routines, they work in silence and parents fall silent as well. It was during one of these hushed moments that Hallie decided she needed to use the restroom and I discretely gestured for her to go ahead.
Before going on, it's important to note that the gym space is set up such that the (not exactly soundproof) restroom doors open directly into main parent viewing area.
The noise level on the mats and in the viewing area rose and fell repeatedly during the five minutes Hallie spent in the restroom, but when the instructor demonstrated a particularly complicated series of moves, the room fell so quiet you could have actually heard a pin drop.
And then, cutting through the silence as easily as one of my Cutco knives took off the tip of my finger once upon a time, a little girl's voice rang out: "Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you, tomorrow! You're only a day (2-3-4) a (2-3-4) way (2-3-4)!"
Hallie didn't actually sing the 2-3-4 counts, but she nailed those three notes and beats so accurately that I knew she must have been keeping time - which she does by bobbing her head ever so slightly - while she sang.
All of the parents laughed as they turned their heads toward the bathroom door and then back to me. I smiled and extended apologizes for the outburst in every direction as I popped out of my seat and quickly crossed the viewing area to the women's restroom. I pushed open the door intending to "shush" her, but when I saw my little starlet standing in front of the bathroom mirror, giving her performance - which thanks to the bathroom's incredible acoustics, sounded amazing - every ounce of passion and commitment it deserved, I couldn't do it.
Instead, I closed the bathroom door, walked back to my seat, and as I sat down I turned to the parents around me and declared, "she'll be done soon".
Two minutes and one chorus of Tomorrow later, Hallie emerged from the bathroom and joined me in our seats. I asked if everything had gone alright, and she replied with a simple, "yep". She appeared to have nothing more to say about this particular trip to the restroom and I considered staying quiet myself, but in the end I couldn't hold my tongue…I leaned over and whispered in her ear, "I love listening to you sing". She gave me a puzzled look at first but quickly realized what I meant, smiled at me, and went back to coloring.
In the end, I will always love listening to her sing, even when she does so at inopportune times or in semi-appropriate places. Except maybe at the library...
These pictures capture of an emotional performance of - yep, you guessed it - Let It Go. The third picture from the top on the right-hand side is my favorite, as you can very clearly see her finishing the line: "the cold never bothered me anyway" and throwing her imaginary cloak and braid over her shoulder.