I really hate school concerts. I am such a bad parent when it comes to participating or baking or attending or volunteering. I feel what the school does in trying to include us in school activities to be nothing short of molestation! Anybody else brave enough to feel this way?!
I mean, maybe I’ve been unlucky in that I’ve never actually watched one that is well done, or remotely interesting. During concert night, I only really like the part my kids are in. All 3 minutes of the whole 3 hours of it. Then, I spend the rest of the night looking for opportunities to grab the fucker and go home. I’m not really interested in watching other people’s kids act clumsily or shyly in front of an audience. Chances are there’s a bright spark that knows how to act or even speak loudly enough for everyone to hear, but most are just kids being kids, feeling awkward on a stage. Unless you’re a pedophile, I don’t know how that could be fun in any way.
Then there’s that Parent At A Concert Smile: you know, that bogus look on everyone’s faces that implies they’re having a great time. The ‘Ahhh, so cute!’ look, accompanied with a loving smile, with the head tilted slightly to the left. And then there’s the iPhone moms kneeling at the front when their little precious is on. And the dads with the huge cameras and tripods, under instruction from the iPhone moms to make sure he captures every single moment of the ass blistering bliss that is Concert Night.
Oh and some are so lucky, they have to come back 3 times because they’ve got kids of all ages! I have friends who go on all the nights because their kid, who is maybe in the choir, might die on stage if they are not present at all times.
The worst is when a kid doesn’t want to perform all of a sudden and the whole thing grinds to a halt. Worse still, it’s YOUR kid! And then when you realize the teacher is not making it happen, you gotta scrape yourself off of seat 25, 8th row, aisle 7 and make your way like a douchebag with open arms, to rescue your kid from Death By Embarrassment. The obligatory ‘Awwww’ chorus droning, as your kid stuffs their crying face into your chest.
Then there’s the extra money you have to cough up for the tickets. And then there’s the extra money you have to cough up for the night’s program. And then there’s the extra money you have to fork out for your drink, your snack, and your kids’ end of evening drinks and snacks and your kids’s friends’ who are running around with your kids after the show, drinks and snacks. It ends up costing more than dinner on Date Night.
I really do dig the effort the teachers and the school and the moms who care put into it though. They’re the real heroes in the story, and I take my hat off to them. Even when it’s shite, you can’t fault them. They did their best. I mean they have to work with a bunch of spoilt little assholes who are growing up thinking they’re invincible (that’s our fault), in a place where drama truly plays itself out every single day.
So when I clap, sure I clap for the kids. But I’m clapping louder for these poor souls who stitched wonky costumes together, who donated their husband’s money (because who with a job got time?), who painted mediocre sets and blotted make up on the faces of pretty little girls in tutus. Loud applause for these people, please!
And so as Concert Season begins, and starts to unfurl inside us the very core of that thing called ‘Patience,’ we all should remember to breathe deeply, sit our asses down and permagrin and bare the hours that tick by slowly…
Oh you thought I wouldn’t go?! No fuckin’ way! My kid’s in it!
© Sandra Radovanovic Buckingham 2019