The Little Dude's school Christmas concert was tonight. I just have to say, these sort of kid's programs are so… interesting. I really appreciate all the effort that goes into them, and the intention to celebrate the holidays, and encourage performance skills and talents in the kids that don't have much of an opportunity to present themselves during the rest of the school year. And the feeling of community is lovely.
Also, even though it is unbearably cliche, I'm a sucker for a little kid in an angel costume.
And there was a big audience. Which was not surprising. The reason that there was a packed house tonight, was because each and every person in the audience is there to see someone they love. They are there to watch their child (or grandchild). So the actual experience of the performance is kind of beside the point. No one ever leaves a child's Christmas pageant going "Well, that was a very low calibre performance. I don't think we'll go next year." Of course you'll go next year! You're kid is in it!
Anyhow, my point is that my son is not a performer. There are kids who know all the words, who sing their little hearts out, who glow at the audience's applause, be it thunderous or polite. But not my son. My kid is there because... because he is. Don't get me wrong, he was excited about going. Excited about wearing a white shirt and a belt (for a couple of minutes at least), excited to be up past his bed time. Excited to see his friends. He looked expectantly for me in the rows of parents and smiled and waved discretely when he spotted me. But after that point, he is not so into it.
He sings. A bit. When he remembers the words, or when he is not busy being distracted by something else. He does the actions that go along with the words when he remembers to, but he is usually one beat behind. He smiles when he looks up and sees me smiling at him. But then he spends the rest of the time undoing all the buttons on his shirt and then doing them up again. Then he finds something interesting on the ground. Then he notices how itchy his knees are. Both of them. Now just the left one. Then both of them again. He looks at the ceiling. He examines his pom-pom boutonniere. And so on.
But the show goes on and the hour gets later. As you can see, the novelty of standing and singing has worn off for most of the grade one and two boys. But they got through it. And so did we. And we'll all do it again next year, and marvel at how they've grown. And who knows, one of these years he might be into it. Or not. Either way, I'll always be there to watch it.