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We didn’t go to the school’s “Winter Wonderland” concert this year.

Some of you are thinking…


But honestly…we avoided death. Or at least jail time. I’ve only spawned two children, but with such a large gap, no concerts ever overlapped. There was no doubling up or Sophie’s choice (i.e., missing one kid’s concert in favour of another), and I never earned a”mother of the year” award for having endured the endless hours of practice leading up to that one enchanted night of hell.  Before you start egging my house, let’s review…

Every year the performances progress from the lower grades upward. That means, the older your child is, the longer you have to nurse a migraine in the dark. Everyone loves the little cherubs…little chubby hands waving enthusiastically at anyone who will wave back, the one kid melting in a sweater vest with his finger up his nose. Why can’t they mix it up a little?

Every group has the same type of performers: The Frozen Ghost – pasty white and scared stiff; The Over-Dresser – ruffled and bejewelled like Beyonce; The Super Lung – also Beyonce but usually off key; The choreographer – knows all the moves, strangely reminiscent of Beyonce; or the Unenthusiastic Lip Syncher – who is visibly dying on the inside.

Every  year we hear the typical non-religious songs: Here comes Santa Claus, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (like that one isn’t just a bit scandalous), or Frosty the Snowman…or I think that’s what they are… Concerts are like a Christmas game show – Name That Tune – but there are NO winners!

Every band sounds the same. The woodwinds sound less like dainty tinkling notes, and more like cats being murdered, and the drummers are always half a beat behind. And unless it is your child playing a recorder, it’s not entertainment. It’s torture. (Admit it – you’re nodding your head right now. I’m not wrong).

I will admit – parents can be entertaining to watch, especially the ones whose children just stand there gawking alongside their classmates on stage, doing absolutely nothing, while their parents over exaggerate the hand movements while enunciating all the words. These parents have obviously spent hours preparing for this big life changing moment in their kids’ lives and they are going to support them whether or not the sun is coming out tomorrow.

Then there are the other “stage” parents.  When Little Guy was in Grade 1, I attended the afternoon concert, arriving early to sit in the front row. By the second song, the parents armed with tablets and video cameras had mobbed the stage. Children were wild-eyed, with fear. I think I saw the kid with his finger up his nose, flicking furiously as he backed away from the crowd. A teacher finally threatened to cancel the concert if parents didn’t sit down. By then I had 6 rows of parents in front of me, and it was only a 4’ gap to that first sobbing child. Most parents backed off, but I still didn’t see the concert, as the die-hards stood for the remainder of the concert with their devices over their heads. It was disgusting!

So no, we didn’t attend the Winter Concert for the reasons above. And also because he wasn’t in it. He isn’t in the band and once they hit a certain grade, they’re not “cute” anymore. But…

…I’ve heard rumours that there’s a Spring Concert in the works. Little Guy isn’t in the band but his class is learning “Tomorrow” from Annie, for some demonic purpose. Little Guy plays the flute. He’s been practicing a lot. My favourite part is the “seven bars of heaven” in which Little Guy doesn’t play at all. He just counts…it’s an epic silence, before he breaks into the final refrain of “tomorrow, tomorrow”…

…and before I know it, the concert could be tomorrow. There will be crying and gnashing of teeth, and they won’t all be mine. Unless Hubby can fake death, he’s coming too. We can discover some new ways to entertain ourselves to make it less brutal more bearable (we did last time). Here’s hoping that 2018 will be my year to win a “mother of the year” award.