There are a lot of trials and tribulations when you’re a parent, to which many of you will attest. Parenting can be like eating a meal, where you love some of the food, and hate some of it, too, even if it has its place on your plate. The “brussel sprouts” of parenting can include visits to the hospital late at night because of irregular breathing (done it, a bunch of times too). Being a dad, or a mum, can be life in the trenches. That’s the way of things, as sure as I’m prone to mixing my metaphors.
But, seeing your child sing in a Christmas concert is pure chocolate cake and ice cream. This is especially true when your child loves to sing, and clearly gets excited about making music.
Last week, I attended The Girl’s Christmas Concert, which really incorporated a bunch of holidays to account for various cultures represented in the school. This is how school is in this early 21st Century. Recent backlashes, and this silly Fox News abetted “War Against Christmas” nonsense is just that – nonsense, although very politically motivated nonsense, even if proponents of that view say they’re against the politicization of holidays (a typical move from reactionary right wing pundits who have audiences to please – accuse the opposition of the thing you’re actually doing, while denying that you’re actually doing it …).
Culture has changed and so it should. That’s what it’s supposed to do.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes: chocolate cake and ice cream.
The Girl was gearing up for the event long before it happened, practicing hard at school, and telling us about it as the day lead up to it. On the day itself, we scored front row seats (thanks, Gramm!). The Girl and her class sang a few songs, both secular and Christmas Story-oriented. One was a kind of bluesy number that involved finger snapping – an ode to Christmas food. A number of days after, she and I sang a duet in the car together after she taught me the words. She’s still riffing on it, good people.
The highlight was the children’s version of “Silent Night”, for which they also learned American Sign Language to go along with their singing. Amazing. I’ve had solo renditions of this performed for me, too.
It was incredible to see her up there. And again, this is the stuff that makes people want to be parents in the first place. I think this is because seeing your child perform, and enjoy performing, is one of the signs that they are gaining access to musical expression, in however small a capacity that might be. It’s also a great context to see how happy they can be, and how proud they can be of practicing something, and then doing it well in front of other people. There’s just something about that which is powerful.
Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!