LESLIE CRISS: Easter chick prompts attitude change regarding recital

By Leslie Criss/NEMS Daily Journal

“We’ve had bad luck with children; they’ve all grown up.”
– Christopher Morley

“‘Welcome, happy morning!’ Age to age shall say …”
–Venantius Fortunatus

Several readers of this column have asked recently why I don’t write about my niece anymore.
I do. Just not as often as I once did.
And the reason, I believe, is simple: Bailey is 12, a pre-teen, and she just doesn’t exude cute like she did when she was younger.
Don’t get me wrong. She’s still a wonder of a girl. She’s got one of the best hearts around, big enough to embrace all manner of humanity.
Still and yet, she is nearly a teenager.
Every now and again, I’ll get a call from my sister, Bailey’s mama, telling me she’s calling to tell me a good Bailey story.
One such call came Wednesday night.
First, the back story.
Bailey’s been taking piano lessons since August. She’s done well, but she takes after her Aunt Lee Lee in one respect – she deplores practicing.
And just a week or so ago, Bailey became painfully aware of something called a recital.
“You didn’t tell me about that,” she said to her mama.
My sister begs to differ. But Bailey is not buying it.
“I am not being in a recital,” she said to her mama. Many times.
“We’ll talk about it,” her mama said to her shy girl.
When my sister picked Bailey up from her piano lesson Wednesday, Bailey climbed into the van and mumbled, “I’m gonna be in the recital.”
Seems her piano teacher had given Bailey – and her other students – a little stuffed chick for an Easter happy. And sweet Bailey feels obliged to reciprocate a kindness.
When they got home, Bailey told her mama some other news.
“I guess we can’t eat chicken for a while,” she said.
“Why?”
Bailey looked at her mama, then looked at her baby chick before answering.
“Because we might be eating some of his people.”

***

Here’s a Bailey story from the archives – way back when she was 5.
Easter was near and she seemed concerned about something she’d heard in Sunday school.
“Lee Lee, did you know that Jesus died? Some people killed him. They stuck a spear in his side.”
Wanting to remind her the story did not end there, I quizzed her.
“Remember what happened on Easter?”
Sure she did. “He rose up from the dead.”
“That’s right,” I told her. “And let me tell you something else and you remember this whenever anyone tries to make you think you are not important. The very first people Jesus talked with after he rose from the dead were girls, women.”
A short second of silence and then Bailey said, “That’s really cool. Girls rule.”
Yes, indeed.
Happy Easter.

Contact Leslie Criss at (662) 678-1584 or leslie.criss@djournal.com.