Dear over excited parents at the Christmas concert,
The spot lights shone brightly giving the holiday decor a magical twinkle upon the stage. I could see the excitement in my son Lars’ eyes as he silently went over his rehearsed songs of Yule tide merriment. And similar to every Christmas concert in the history of mankind the crowd was abuzz with anticipation.
Now I’m not going to come right out and say that I loathe these types of childlike concerts. I’m sure if I did I’d find an angry mob of all you Christmas do-gooders busting down my door at any given moment. And beside the point, it’s not that I detest them or anything- I mean they have a few upsides I suppose.
I get to dress my kid up in a super awesome Christmas suit. So adorable.
His excitement leading up to the event is irrefutably charming.
And not to mention I can secretly judge all of the other kids and come to the obvious conclusion that mine is probably the only one destined for stardom.
So yeah, they definitely have their up points…But unfortunately they have their downs too.
There I am 40 minutes early to the matinee showing (because that’s how big of a deal this thing is- it needs a matinee showing as well as an evening one). I walk into the gymnasium and to my utter surprise more than half of the chairs are already occupied. There goes my bright idea of arriving early to get a good seat. It makes me wonder what time you all arrived to get such good spots.
I peruse towards the nearest set of open seats. Back and back…And back some more.
By the time I find a seat I begin to wish I had thought to bring my fancy theater binoculars because where I sit I can’t see hide nor hair of my son. But thems just the ropes in the Christmas concert game I guess. After waiting an excruciatingly long time- for no reason whatsoever since I didn’t get a good seat anyways- the play had begun.
The only way I could determine this was by the horde of parents getting up out of their seats and into the aisle to engage in an impromptu photo shoot with their kid. Sophie had been sat in that very aisle as she couldn’t see her brothers performance anywhere else. I nearly lost her in the stampede of manic parents. Good thing I’m quick like a cat and nabbed the back of her coat to pull her out of the mob just in the nick of time. It was close though.
Don’t get me wrong I would have loved to get a picture of Lars singing his little heart out but seriously…When I saw the grown adults literally shoving/climbing/all out pushing past each other down the three foot wide aisle I decided to pass. I couldn’t risk a shanking now; they were just starting in on Jingle Bell Rock.
It was almost as though the pandemonium of the Kindergarten/Gr.1 concert turned some of my fellow parents into raving lunatics. At one point a kid made a (let’s face it) mediocre joke on stage- as an adult you do what’s right and give them a chuckle and a clap- that is all that is required. It’s cute; I’d even go as far to say endearing. What it is not, is hilarious. Especially not so hilarious that you should feel the need to reach over and grasp the shoulder of a complete stranger (this being my husbands said shoulder) and while red faced begin laughing hysterically and slapping your knee. It is inappropriate to touch an unfamiliar person in the best of circumstances, so this my friend was just plain weird. Take ‘er down a notch bud, you’re causing a scene.
I’m not really even sure what everyone was getting so up in arms about anyways- I couldn’t understand a damn word coming out of the kids mouths. Maybe they needed some more mic training or maybe it was a poor sound system. Or even more plausibly I just couldn’t understand them due to my crap-ass seat. In any case even if the jokes were knee slappin’ funny, I wouldn’t have heard them anyhow.
But still throughout the chaos and blatant confusion I managed to catch a few glimpses of Lars and from what I did see- he was fantastic. It was something I wouldn’t have missed for the world. However, it was also something I would never, ever in a million fiery years of hell volunteer to do if I absolutely didn’t have to. Call me cold, call me heartless, but I just couldn’t bring myself to join the multitude of parents afterwards crying over how ‘beautiful’ and ‘magical’ the spectacle had been. Yeah my kid was great- but I’m pretty sure every mother in the place was thinking that too about their own kid. In other words, “it was a performance that only a mother could love.”
As parents we do things that sometimes make us feel uncomfortable. And sometimes once we venture out of our little comfort bubble we discover that we can wholeheartedly enjoy the new adventures accompanied with parenting. For me, Christmas concerts will never be one of those special thought provoking moments. I can safely say I will strongly dislike the event for probably the entirety of my time on this earth.
So now that I’ve warned you- please don’t be offended when I respectfully decline the next invite you give me to your child’s Christmas concert.
Sorry, not sorry.
Grinchy Concert Parents Everywhere