I don't know about you, but every time I see my kids perform in something I get tears in my eyes. I have no reason to cry and they are most certainly not tears of pain, but for what ever reason just the act of them on stage in whatever capacity bring me so much joy I always tear up. My daughter's ballet or theater performances were usually full on out tears down the face. My oldest show's were usually tears of laughter, he always hated to sing or do any of those school required concerts, and his presence in them was just a tab bit comical. One year in protest of attending his 4th grade chorus concert he bit the buttons off his button down shirt. He still went, and YES I swear he sang.
My youngest had his fifth grade chorus concert last evening. Last years musical concert was missed because he was sick, and any previous concerts were stuffed in the elementary school cafeteria, very informal and I usually was sitting in the back on a cafeteria table. This years show was different. The fifth and sixth grade concert was held in the High School auditorium. This was the big time, baby.
Initially he gave me a hard time about attending, insisting that he really did not have to go, the chorus would not miss him...blah blah blah. He was going, and he was gonna like it. Now to find him some dress pants and dress shirt. The pants fit, but despite the fact that YES the dress shirt did fit, just not how he wanted it to fit, we found a more appropriate shirt then his purple sweatshirt to wear. Yeah no purple sweatshirt.
My parents were meeting us there and we scored third row seats and saved. Although I had a great view, I also had an even better view of the music teacher's head. Seated and ready for the show, I watched while attempting to figure out the video recorder on my camera....epic fail. Just when will I ever get that? The first few songs were clearly not anyone's favorite and there was a small low in one part of it. Gavin later reported that most people around him we NOT singing, he reported he most certainly was. After a slow start they played a few songs that the audience knew too, and that always seems to get people going, later they did a 12-days of friendship song and had massive boards showing each of the 12 days. The kids all got into this one, and when they sang the winter song and the hats, sun glasses and scarfs came out, they really got going.
The very last song was a popular song on the radio; "I can lift you up" and the kids were in full funny by this time. My favorite part was when the trumpets solo's and the kids mimed the trumpet playing.
I didn't cry this concert. I'm not sure why. I don't think I was less emotionally invested then with my older kids, or what, but I smiled the entire time. I smiled from ear to ear. I was so proud of my little guy. I know that this would be the last place he would pick to be, and I know we will be fighting about his attendance next year, but he smiled through the whole thing too, and I think although he would never admit it, he kind of had a good time.
After the concert and we said goodbyes to Grandma and Grandpa, I thought about these little things. I remembered my own chorus concerts as a kid. They meant so very much to me. I thought about the dress my Grandmother made for me just for one of those chorus concerts. I thought about the band shows we did and my paranoia that it would be my clarinet that would squeak, someone's always did. I thought about the plays and the other performances I participated in as a child, and I thought about the vast difference my kids lives were from my own. Even the difference my older kids had as children then my youngest. How is it that there is some much difference? It must be different styles, different times, different things that were valued. When Gavin was born, I had joked with Mark about having one child we (more meaning me) that we wouldn't screw up. Here was this perfect baby boy with both his parents in his life. Both people who had already presented with his siblings a crazy lifestyle, that could now be stable. Here was this kid born with never a longing for want. I knew Gavin would never come home from school to find the electric was shut off, or that his lunches were going to be made from what ever mom found in the cupboard. I knew Gavin would never suffer from a promise broken from his father. I guess I just never thought that his lack of want would become expected. I guess I never realized that setting limits and being ridged was better for him in the long run. I guess in our attempts to be everything to this child we somehow missed the mark, and now he expects EVERYTHING. I do love my child more then I can express, but I do get concerned about his behaviors sometimes and it does worry me. I have four amazing kids and all at one time or another had behaviors that I just could not tolerate. They all at some point had me worrying. Nick had so many bad behaviors I just would know where to begin. Alexis had her rebellious teen years that had me so fearful and concerned I often loss sleep. Ben, although I never had the pleasure of being his mom full time was sometimes so prickly towards me I thought he would hate me all my life. I guess it just wouldn't be Gavin to get excited about going to his Chorus concert, or about taking a trip to see Holiday lights just for fun. Gavin will never be as easy going about what he wears, what he eats and where his mom drags him like his older brother Nick, (although he sure did not want to sing in that chorus concert that one year). I guess he will never be a self starting people pleaser like his sister who loved to perform and show her talents to anyone who watched and who immersed herself in friends and socialized with anyone. He will never be like his brother Ben who is diligent and driven both in his academics and athleticism, but he will make it. They all do and are, I guess I just need to be more aware of my own behaviors and stick with my guns. I do after all have the best of most things.