May 26, 2014
Tonight all kinds of feelings flowed through me. Anticipated excitement that the kids and I were going out on the town together for a night of live music. Gratitude for my father’s generosity in giving me birthday money to spend as I wished that I could use to buy our tickets. Eagerness to inspire the kids with the talent of a professional blues musician. A sense of achievement that I have kids who are willing and excited to sit and listen to a whole evening of music. Surprise that the box office didn’t have the tickets I had called in to reserve.
Oops. Okay- what seats were left that could allow some view of the pianist and not just the back of looming adult heads and bodies? Hmmm……only 2 seats left in the front row, on the left-hand side of the town hall. So I had the quick idea of giving the kids those front row seats, letting them sit by themselves while I sat two rows behind them. Then new feelings cropped up….
Concern. Oh me oh my. What do you do when you see your 6-year old daughter, with her new bob hair cut, bobbing her head in the cutest bobble head fashion, fully feeling the boogie woogie music in her body. Powerlessness when you see your 8-year old son taking on the role of police officer/parent, trying to get his sister to stop dancing in her seat but in ways that involve him using his hands to shush her and become an even greater distraction. Exasperation. What do you do when you see the two of them shoving each other’s elbows to vie for champion of the arm-rest space between their seats? Embarrassment. What do you do when you see your son reading the Town Hall’s pamphlet of calendared events, while the performance is going on and not even stopping to clap at the end of each song? What do you do when your daughter keeps turning her head to lovingly smile back at you when you know that the woman in the row between us is probably thinking “cute girl, could you please stop turning around and distracting me?” Oh.my.word. How does a mom enjoy the concert when she’s fully aware of her children and can’t do anything to stop their undesired behaviors? A need to relinquish. Take deep breaths. Close your eyes, lean your head against the wall to soak in the sound of the concert pieces, try to enjoy the concert, hope that one or both of your kids will turn at one point so you can give them the stinkiest, meanest evil eye to convey your disappointment and frustration.
So I listened to the music, hoping, praying that the kids would be so overcome by the beauty of the piano-playing awesomeness that they would somehow be lost in the reverie of it all and forget about each other. Well, it didn’t happen that way. In fact the more “into it” that Natalie became, the more her bobble-head, bob-cut hair-do bobbled in her seat and the more intense Jacob became about trying to get his sister to sit still. Take deep breaths Mama-bear. Hope that they can make it to the intermission without making a spectacle of themselves. Perhaps it’s just my Mama-eyes that are so keenly fixed on them and the other adults here don’t notice them. That was my hope at least.