I Wanted to Sing from Here

Last night was The Boy’s Choir concert.  This is his second year in the choir, and he has been less enthusiastic recently, I think in part because the time of the rehearsals changed to before school, and he would have to miss Kids Club.  Also, his voice is changing dramatically.  He has been missing so many rehearsals, I had emailed his teacher thinking he wasn’t going to participate in the concert.  But she assured me that he was expected, and they would love to have him there, so I made sure he was ready to the best of my ability.

These concerts, from a parent’s perspective, can be challenging.  In our community, parents are hyper-involved.  To the point that you want to tell them all to just go home.  The first day of school is absolutely chaotic, because every parent wants to escort their child from the parking lot to the door of their classroom.  When you have 800 elementary school students, and at least two family member accompanying them, you can imagine the scene, and hopefully you can understand my eye roll.

Concerts are no different, except there’s a twist.  Not only do both parents come, but the entire extended family comes, complete with expensive florist bouquets for their little star.  And they save seats.  What are we, in second grade ourselves, at the lunch table?  And not just one or two seats.  The family in front of us last night had seven seats “saved”, and turned away several families looking for seats.  There have been several years when I had to stand because I wasn’t going to haggle for a place to sit.

In any case, it can be tense, and it can be difficult to enjoy.  But this year was an exception.  We went early, made sure we had a parking spot and didn’t need to hike six blocks to the school.  We got good seats, got The Boy settled with his classmates after walking the halls for quite awhile until there was adult supervision in his room, and were ready for the show to start, feeling apprehensive about the screaming babies, and the seat-savers, and the woman with extremely big hair in front of us.

choir concertThe choir was first, and they were great.  I don’t think they’ve had such a big choir in a long time.  The Boy sang, and fit right in for the first two songs.  And then the third tune came, complete with all kinds of “moves”.  And of course, The Boy didn’t have much of a clue because he hasn’t been to rehearsal.  But  it turned out to be adorable and funny, and just the type of thing we could expect from him.  All the kids would turn around, and he was the only one facing front, and he’s not hard to spot in a crowd of fifth graders because he’s taller than 99% of them!  But rather than be embarrassed, we laughed because it was so him, and I was proud that he wanted to be with his friends and participate.

The rest of the grades were cute (how can you not enjoy a bunch of kindergartners singing??), and then all the kids came back in for the finale.  Just before the (planned) encore, The Boy slipped away from his classmates, and zipped across the front of the auditorium.  My mom nudged me, and before I had time to panic, he was making his way down our row, heading for the empty seat next to me.  He sat down and explained, “I wanted to sing this one from here!” and I couldn’t have a problem with that.  He did sing, and it was really cool to hear him up close.  It may not have been typical, but so what?  I’m a proud mama anyway.

Busy, Busy

It’s that time of year, isn’t it?  Everyone feels it.  And mostly, we do it to ourselves.  Fill up those calendars with things to do, and then wonder why this season is so stressful.

Part of the problem in our house is that I teach band and choir, and The Boy is involved in band and choir, which makes for multiple concerts and mandatory attendance.  (Luckily, The Boy’s band concert is actually during the day, and I will miss work for this special event!  Er, I mean… not “luckily”, but, well, you know…)

Ah, The Elementary Choir Concert...

Add a birthday (and a birthday party) in the middle of all of those rehearsals and concerts, and it can be beyond hectic, especially in a single-parent household.  How do I do it?  Carefully scheduled mental health personal days, babysitters, and the mantra “this too shall pass”.  Don’t get me wrong — I love this season: the music, the neighborliness, the giving, the traditions.  The stress, though?  That, I can definitely do without.

What do you do to ensure it is a season of good cheer instead of Bah Humbug?

A Look Back at October

Running Through the Corn Maze

Can you believe it’s November?  Here are some of the top posts from October you may have missed: One of the Toughest Things The irony of autism is its unpredictability, when the person with autism craves predictability… Birthdays Past and … Continue reading