Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Yule-tide Carols Being Sung by a Choir

I went to Clayton's Christmas concert at school last night. I remember going to Austin and Savannah's first Christmas concerts. I recall dressing Savannah in a fancy red holiday dress and spending a ton of time playing with her hair, styling it into an updo that would have made any bride jealous. I decked Austin out in dress pants with a collared shirt under a Bill Cosbyesque Christmas sweater, his hair parted neatly and smoothed down. I made sure to arrive at the school a good 45 minutes early to get close seats and set up the video camera. I knelt in the aisle so I could get an unobstructed view and tears sprang to my eyes as my children opened their mouths and began to sing. Could there be anything more adorable than this? I thought.

Fast forward through 24 holiday concerts.

"Clayton! Stop running around and put your shoes on! C'mon, we have to leave or we're gonna be late! Oh crap, that's right, you're supposed to wear red or green. Jackson, look in his closet and see if there's anything holidayish. I don't know where the hairbrush is. Who moved it? Ugh, just put a hat on. You're fine! Let's go!"

We got to the school and told Clay to run to his classroom while we got seats. Of course, by the time we got to the lunchroom, nearly every chair was taken. We were in the back, behind a thousand parents and could hardly see the stage. But considering this was Clay's concert and Clay was likely to be goofing off and hitting the kids next to him, I figured that was a good thing.

"I know we can't see anything from here, guys, but on the bright side, we're closer to the exit if we have to make a hasty getaway because Clay has pushed a poor kid off the stage."

I glanced around at the other parents with their full arsenal of video equipment. They looked like they were getting ready to tape a breaking story for the local news. Seriously, one guy had a camera the size of a microwave oven on a tripod with a boom mic. I kid you not. I wasn't sure whether to laugh at him or feel guilty that I'd hastily thrown a camera in my purse even though I knew I wouldn't be able to get close enough to get any pictures of my son.

During the concert, I caught quick glimpses of Clay when the planets aligned and the parents in front of me all moved their heads just so at the same time. I was also able to pick out "the shouter". You know what I'm talking about? There's always that one kid at the concert who's just a little too enthusiastic about the songs. You can clearly hear their voice ringing out over all the others as they shout, "SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN!" This year it was a little girl in a red dress. At one point, she started jogging in place and hopping up and down while shouting singing. I leaned over to my friend and whispered, "There's a future aerobics instructor."

I was also able to find the nose picker, the I-don't-want-to-be-here pouter, the contender for America's Funniest Home Videos, and the I-have-to-go-now pee pee dancer.

This was the only best picture I got of Clay. I know, I know. Hanging my head in shame.

I probably shouldn't admit this. I'm sure I'm violating the Mom Code, but...well, is it wrong that I'm counting down? Only 12 more gradeschool concerts to sit through!

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WeaselMomma said...

I feel so much better knowing that I am not the only one! Tonight is our concert and I am dreading it. Don't get me wrong - I love to hear my children sing. I just don't want to sit around in a crowded gym and listen to 375 other kids sing!

Julie H said...

I so know exactly what you are talking about! My kids are spaced out quite a bit, 5 years between the oldest and the middle and 4 years between the middle and the youngest. There school is K-8 and their Christmas programs are for the K-5th graders, unless of course your kid is in BAND and they get to perform also. We started couting down when the oldest was in like 6th grade lol.

jdb in AZ said...

I was just thinking of the ubiquitous band concerts when I read Julie's comment. Once my kid was out of the beginners' band (but still performing right afterward) I literally stood outside the cafetorium (hybrid multipurpose room) til the noise was finished. Thankfully they got better with age. By high school it was fun to listen to again.

Just think. About the time your youngest finishes her Christmas concerts, you'll be starting all over -- as a grandmother. Or you'll come up with better excuses for not attending.

Dawn said...

HA! Well, I guess I could do like my kids' grandparents do and just avoid the kids at all costs.

Sherry said...

My daughter second child) had her program last week. We got there 50 minutes before the program, got a fairly close seat.....and what happened? She was on the front row standing on floor level....all of the teachers sat on the front row to "help" the kids. I barely saw her. I was so frustrated. This is the last program of this type she will have til middle school I think. Ugh!

The Gibson's said...

Dawn HELLO you are only at 20 on the thingy. I voted you need to get the word OUT, you are the BEST!!!!!!!!

V1nce said...

I remember doing those concerts when I was a kid. Brings back some great and traumatic memories. Mostly traumatic.

I used to be in the church choir. I was definitely a loud one and don't think my "voice" could ever be classified.

Well, maybe "Nails on a Chalkboard".

But hey, if I had to suffer, anyone listening had to suffer. Fair's fair.

Unknown said...

LOL! Dawn, it's not bad that you're counting down grade school concerts! I've been doing it for years! My oldest is a senior in high school, and I actually enjoy his band concerts. Ditto for my sophomore daughter's choir concerts. BUT, now my 5th grade son has started band AND choir this year, and I'm dreading THOSE concerts. At least next year it will be middle school (slight improvement), and 3 years later, back to high school concerts. Tick, tick, tick...

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