Friday, December 7, 2007

We wish you a merry chaos

Last night was the school Christmas concert.

These things are difficult for me. I like quiet and serenity. That is not something which Christmas concerts promise to the viewing audience.

I always have the perception that the children, when dropped off, would go to their seats, and the parents would do the same, keeping an eye on said children so that any miscreants who start galloping around the auditorium would immediately be redirected to the appropriate place. My kids know that they will do as they are told, or they will be pinned to said seat by the laser beam stare which I inherited from my mother. In her day, she could bring a ten year old boy with severe, unmedicated ADHD to a dead stop from across the room by merely raising an eyebrow.

And I understand now that I am delusional in thinking that the parents and grandparents would sit and respectfully listen to the other performers even while their children are not on stage. Never in a million years would it occur to me to talk on my cell phone while some children were performing The Littlest Angel, or to clean out my purse, loudly discussing each item I found with the person next to me, during Silent Night. Nothing like "all is calm, all is bright, round yon virgin, oh, look, now why did I keep that receipt from Burger King from last March?" to set a festive tone for the holiday season.

Also, what is this with the videotaping frenzy? These people are so busy recording the concert they don't pay any attention to who or what is around them. Last night, a man decided to videotape his child, who was in the same grade as my child, by standing directly in front of the empty chair in front of me. No, he didn't sit down. So, I had the choice of poking him in the seat of the pants, moving, or staring at his derrierre (a rather elegant term for a not-so-elegant view).

Since I am not incarcerated, guess which one I picked.

To make matters worse, I was somehow the only mom who did not get the letter about the costumes--the kids were to wear yellow shirts and crowns. When I asked Nita this week if she had to wear anything in particular for the concert, she said, "A tiara." Since this child is stuck in princess mode 24/7, I dismissed that as opportunism on her part. Consequently, my child stood out because she was wearing a very red poinsettia patterned sweater in a sea of yellow and gold

She was a whole lot less distressed by this than I was. Except she would have enjoyed that tiara, and I am sure she will remind me of that on numerous occasions over the next few months.

But the good news is that the concert season is over, and now I can get in the holiday spirit by sitting in my living room and putting in A Charlie Brown Christmas. Just those couple of minutes with Linus lisping while he quotes the story of the birth of Christ can center me each year and bring me back to where I need to be.

And I guess this is the moral of the story. We get so caught up in putting on and preserving the perfect show that we forget that simplicity is the real answer, and that the most perfect moments can only be recorded on and preserved in the heart.

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