Seriously--this just dawned on me today. I just NOW realized I'm guilty of not really hugely looking forward to Sam's Christmas program on the 17th. I mean, it's going to be cute and all, but I'm not jumping up and down with excitement.
All through childhood, I thought we elementary and Jr. high school students were WONDERFUL performers--that we had so much talent, my parents just couldn't wait until they could get on down to the Niles Theater to listen to me playing, "The Gremlin Rag" and hear me sing "Voices that Care" along with my other classmates.
I really truly thought my parents *liked* the music we were singing. In my mind, my parents and all the others, were knocking each other down like a mob at Walmart on Black Friday or a U2 concert just to get in. And even if I couldn't find them out there in the audience, I knew they were there-- listening--so very enraptured by the gloriousness of our abilities, wishing we would never stop playing, never stop singing. We were astoundingly gifted.
Now I know better.
There is a definite pride in seeing your child on stage, giving it their all--or, in other cases, seeing your child on stage with his arms crossed and a beligerent look on his face--refusing to do the hand motions.
However, I now understand my parents didn't come to enjoy my music, but they came to enjoy seeing me doing something besides whining at how bored I was or fighting with my sister over toilet paper (it happened more often than I'd like to admit--don't ask).
They came because they love me.
But when there are 7 grades performing and each grade is doing 2 songs, that means you have to sit through 12 other songs you couldn't really care less about. That's a lot of sitting with a bunch of other parents. You're in a hot, cramped, "cozy" box of a room, when where you really want to be is back at home, smooching on the couch during the commercial breaks of the latest episode of Heroes.
School concerts were a sacrifice of love on my parents' part.
I had no idea.
I'm sure there were moments when my parents wanted to flake out on me and say, "Can we just sit this one out, pleeeeeease?" But they never did. They were always faithful to do their very best to be there.
And not only did they come to see me, but I was always dressed to the hilt too! Red dresses, itchy wooly tights, headbands--lots of photos were taken, and I always felt very loved and special and important--even when I tried three different instruents only to drop band all together. Even when I got a detention for not clapping. Even when I forgot to wash black nylons for my choir uniform and you had to go to the Toggery just before closing to get them for me--you always gave so much.
Thanks Mom and Dad for letting me think you were were crazy about "Chim-a-ring-ring-Chong" (yes.. this song really does exist) and for coming to my concerts and for encouraging me so very much. It means even more, now that I have kids of my own.
You guys are pretty fabulous, you know that? I love you.