It is Christmas concert time around here which is one of my favorite. I LOVE choral music and I’m so happy that my 3 oldest children enjoy singing it. Brittney and Sarah are both in the advanced (audition only) group and they sang every song at their concert on Monday night. Brittney did a solo verse in one song … I was definatly the proud momma. It always thrills me to see Sarah in a big group of people. Her blonde hair shines brightly and her blue eyes can be seen from any distance – I think she is not aware of her beauty (which makes it even more beautiful to me). The whole concert was entertaining and fun.
Nicholas is in the middle school group and their concert was last night. I had arranged for Ralph to go while I stayed home with the little ones and did some much needed chores … and yes… layed around for awhile and collapsed into bed as soon as the little ones were down at 8. Then things got crazy. Ralph texted to say he would be late. I had to take Sarah to piano, Brittney had been home sick all day and Nick had to be at the church an hour before the concert. Of course I found all of this out while standing in a HUGE line at Kroger, 15 min from home at 5:45. I got home, threw the groceries at Brittney, threw the kids in the car and drove like crazy dropping off kids. Meanwhile, Nick is almost in tears when he finds out that I’m NOT going to be attending the concert. He was very sincere in telling me that he had been SO excited about me being there because he knows it is one of my favorite things to do. How could I turn that down?
I figured I’d get in a few moments of Christmas shopping while I waited for the concert to begin and I got back just in time to sit and be blessed. I mean that sincerely. The group itself has a lot to learn about music and sound and stage presence. But my eyes were only for my son, singing with all of his heart, for his mom. Nicholas also stands out in a crowd; his hair is even blonder than Sarahs and his expressions are so FUN. The director even pulled me aside at the end of the night to tell me how much Nick means to him and that the passion far out-weighs any “talent” that may not be matured yet. Proud moment.
So why is this titled rudeness?
Well – I’ll just get into it. I took notes! on my cell phone. I really did. I was so appalled that I didn’t want to leave out anything.
When did it become ok to allow children to be out-right RUDE? The community that I live in is the home of my peers, my family, my history, my future. I grew up here per my parents but I LIVE here by choice. I made that choice BECAUSE I grew up here. I thought I knew this community, these people. I thought that for the most part we are like-minded. The examples that I saw last night brought me anger. THIS is not what I want for my children. I honestly hope that I was blinded to the good simply because the bad was so brightly shining.
Ok, I’ll move on ….. here is my list.
I sat toward the back of the church in the middle. My first distraction was a little boy 2 rows up. I am guessing his age (by size) to be around 9 but by maturity it is possible that he was a very big 7 year old. Before the concert began he was speaking in a normal (slightly loud…but he’s a boy) voice. The adult lady with him (mom?) seemed to not notice he was even there. But the concert began and I’m settled into blissful harmonies (yeah, well…. I think I heard more than one part … and well, it was sorta in the same key as the song….and I THINK there was more than one person singing that part). I was listening, ok? Song one ends and the director did something that in the 4 years I have known him he has never done. He made a child LEAVE the stage. She was antsy and disrespectful all through song 1 and when it ended she just started talking. She ARGUED back that she didn’t WANT to leave the stage, she wasn’t given a choice. As she was leaving she did a victory “yes” with an arm pump. I was HORRIFIED … for her parents and grandparents. Who I hoped beat the snot out of her gave her a stern talking to on the drive home. They were so embarrased that they left just before the last song. Sad.
but moving on…..
So we are just good into the 3rd song when a whole family comes in and sits behind me. I tried to be understanding of their chatter as they were seated and settling. It took them 3 or 4 minutes to notice that one of their children was quite interested in my hair and was pulling it one.strand.at.a.time and saying “ohhhhh, pweety”. As the song finished, the 2 students (from that family?) walked up onto stage. Well, they sorta skipped on with a little bravo to their step. One of them decided that the easiest way to get to her middle spot was to just climb right over the chairs. Yep, white sneaker right into the burgundy cloth seats for 4 rows and a nice hop down. HEY! They showed up, right? It is, afterall the final grade for this class. Whatever.
Next song is a bit upbeat … remember little boy in front of me? Well he decides he should be the director. He stands in his pew and starts waving his arms wildly. Guess I was the only one who noticed. He continued this behavior with occasional LOUD singing along throughout the next several songs. He did get bored with that and start rolling a marble down the pew side, crawling under the next few pews to retreive it and starting again.
Meanwhile, the family behind me is at least attempting to keep their child quiet. With a peice of crinkly-wrapped candy. That took 15 minutes to open. And then be crunched until gone. REPEAT x 3.
To top that … Mom’s cell phone RINGS. She silences it and enjoys the concert. NOPE. She Answers it. With a cheerful hello. And continues to talk as she slowly rises and makes her way casually from the sanctuary.
I am telling you, by the end of the concert I was sitting wide-eyed with my head shaking in disbelief.