Friday, March 31, 2006

Call me Nicodemus

I’ve had so many people asking about the strings concert that I had to got to enjoy last Tuesday, I thought I might as well share the experience with everyone.

Okay, so no one asked, but it’s what I’m gonna talk about today.

For the record, my daughter started strings this year. I think all students are required to take something musical in fourth grade, and she chose the violin. Let me say here and now that I support her desire to learn the instrument. I want her to practice, practice, practice so that she will progress upward. I just want her to do it when I am not at home.

The strings gave a performance last December. It was very… long. They played at least 7 songs, just not all together at the same time. But the girl had fun and you could see the excitement in her eyes when it was all over.

Their last performance was on last Tuesday. She was so eager for the event to start. She had to be at rehearsal at 5 PM. (What were those people thinking? Some parent’s work for goodness sake! Fortunately I’ve the best boss in all employment fields; he said to go do the kid thing. Phew.) The concert wouldn’t start for another two hours, so they must have had lots and lots of practice time scheduled.

I dropped her off with all of her gear. We took the time to set everything up and to make sure that everything was going according to the desired plan.

Violin – check

Stand – check

Music – check

Snack – check

Dressed correctly (black skirt, white shirt) – check

“Okay, girl. Give me a kiss and I’ll be back for the concert.”

No check. Blank stare.

Maybe she didn’t hear me. “Honey give me a kiss. I’ve gotta go.”

Her eyes got bigger and she looked down at the bow in her hand. She then looked at everyone around her. Then she looked back at me.

Ah. I get it. No kiss in front of all the friends. She’s too big for that now.

I lean down to her ear, (really that is a stretch of a term if I ever heard one; she is almost as tall as I am.) and ask if I could give her one on the cheek. She nods ever so slightly, minutely adjusts her chin so that I can get to the cheek and looks away.

I so hate that moment. Where did my snuggle girl go? Who put this idea that affections are to be doled out little by little when in public? I want to speak to that person and set them straight! I’m not ready for that…

I give the peck and leave. I think my heart stayed there with her.

I pick up the boy and we make it to the concert in plenty of time. It is in the gym and seating is on the bleachers. We endured listened respectfully to the 4th graders as they make it through their three songs. Really it sounded pretty good. Then the 5th graders… a little better. Then the middle schoolers… much better. Then the high school strings… boy I felt like I was at a real concert. They played beautifully.

As I raise my now- bruised and numb buttocks from the wooden bleachers, we go to congratulate my daughter on her fine performance, commenting here and there about her playing and her stance and her thoughts on the night’s event. Her brother even went up to her (on his OWN mind you – big deal to me) and gave her a big hug and told her that he really liked the concert. She once again loved being there in the thick of it all.

For a special treat, we took them to Red Robin for kids’ meals and shakes. (Free shakes for kids on Tuesday nights plus a balloon guy is there making really cool things out of all shapes and sizes of balloons – really good deal). We all laughed and talked and played and had a great time in general.

It was late when we got home, so it was straight to bed for them. (Why is it that when saying that they need to go straight to bed, kids say “Yea! No brushing our teeth!!!” Is it that big of a chore? Wait, I remember saying that. Yeah it is I guess.)

We tucked the boy in, sang “Doxology” and the “I love you” songs. He was riled up but ready to hit the hay.

My daughter was sleepy too. We did the same routine with her and said good night. As I was leaving to go, she called me and asked me to come back to the bed. As I bent over her, she reached out and gave me a big hug and kiss and told me that she really loved me. When she wouldn’t let go of me, I gave her a playful tickle and she laughed and looked at me with a smile as she settled down into her pillow.

Perhaps I can still visit my snuggle girl, but they will have to be at night, under shadow and cover of home.

I’ll make those trips at anytime I can.

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