A Family Photograph That Is Complete

In this memory, I am four years old.

March comes, and the annual YAMAHA music showcase takes place in a concert hall outside the city centre. It has been a year since our group class started. This is an occasion for us to perform in front of our family members and show them how much we have progressed over the year.

We prepare many small pieces for the concert. They are a combination of singing and electronic organ performances. While some of us play the organs, others sing. Or sometimes, it is our teacher who plays the organ, and we all sing in unison. All of this happens on a stage.

I have dreamed of wearing a princess-like dress for this showcase, but when my mother brings me my stage costume, to my disappointment, it is a plain check jumper skirt over a white blouse. For the hair, she puts a white ribbon on top of my regular half-up hair. Again, not so princess-like. But I will have to satisfy myself with this.

At the venue, I am joined by my two best friends along with other classmates all dressed up. In particular, my eyes are glued to one of my best friends’ gorgeous costume. Made of golden satin material, it is shaped like a traditional Japanese kimono. Wearing the dress, my friend looks like a princess. She says her mother made the dress for this occasion, impressing everybody in the lobby with the skills that has gone into making it.

The time we spend on the stage is brief, but because it is our first time to stand on one, dressed up, we are all elated and besides ourselves. We sing songs and play the electronic organs, trying our best to perform as good as when we practiced. The audience consists of our parents, grandparents and younger siblings, who applaud each time we finish a piece.

After the most exciting time on stage, I play with my friends in the lobby. My brother and my friends’ little sister and brother also run around with us. The adults take pictures of us. All of us together, and then family photos on this special day.

My friend’s mother holds my mother’s camera and takes a picture of my family: my mother, brother, father, and me. My mother is holding my brother in her arms, and my father is placing his hand on my shoulder.  

This will forever be the only photograph that captures my complete family of four.