Do you hear what I hear?

Alison recently reminded me of at least one reason to be grateful for being the parent of a teenager – especially this time of year — No more school Christmas  concerts to attend!!

Whooooo-hooooo!!!!!

Yes, I love my child and I love that she has some talents and I’ve totally encouraged all her talents and interests over the years. And I rather enjoy watching her perform. I just was never crazy about being obligated to sit through all the other kids’ performances, too.

I know, I know, I’m a terrible person and I should be admiring all the hard work these kids put into these events.  And I should be rooting them on to greatness instead of gritting my teeth through their performances. And ya, some of them were kind of cute and a rare few were actually quite talented and fun to watch. But for the most part, they performed like someone was holding a gun to their heads.

Those school concerts were probably among longest hours of my life. The band performs —  and we listen to gaggles of tone-deaf tiny people doing horrible things to perfectly good musical instruments.  The choir performs — usually not too unbearable. But then each class had to do their own thing — screeching out half a dozen songs — a few solos or duets thrown in for our added enjoyment.

Then along with the 2 or 3 school performances, ever year, I’ve also sat through another 2 piano recitals every year.  And separate choir and band performances for the years the child was involved in those. If we go back a bit there were also quite a few dance recitals when she took some dance classes; not to mention all the many, many performances during summer day camp theatre, dance and art classes. I reckon I’ve sat through a good 100 performances at an average of 90 minutes each – you do the math (No really, please do the math. I’m afraid to.)

I’m not even counting the hours of sitting in freezing cold arenas every Saturday morning for 10 years watching the kid falling on ice.

She still skates and plays piano, but her shows and recitals have edged into the really enjoyable realm now. And I don’t have to sit through the practices anymore.

Life is good.

I’m sure glad those school concert years are behind me.

Yup.

No more of that boring kiddy stuff.

No more school gyms,  still smelling a bit sweaty, now  festooned with twinkling lights, glittering garland and children’s artwork.

No more freshly scrubbed tykes in their Sunday best, pulling and tugging at their unfamiliar tights and ties.

No more gap-toothed smiles, nervous but beaming proudly as they belt out songs they’ve been practicing month after month;  faces lighting up as they finally manage to spot their families in the audience.

No more parents and grandparents clasping hands to bosoms, eyes glistening, hearts swelling; forgetting to take photos as they get caught up in the delight of it all.

No more little one rushing into my arms after the shows — eyes bright, full of joy…. face shining…. excitedly, expectantly, confidently awaiting my fulsome, unbridled, totally heartfelt praise….