Thursday, May 29, 2003

Chorus lines

Well, the big spring concert is over. That's one good thing you can say about it.

A school year's worth of wondering if my boy would manage to stay in chorus all the way to the big spring concert is over, too. Another good thing.

My daughter played the trombone during the band portion of the concert in a way that sounded pretty good when you could hear the brass section over the shreiky flutes and squeaky reeds.

My daughter's friend didn't throw up during the chorus performance the way he did at the dress rehearsal, and I'm sure there's a long line of people who think that's a pretty darn good thing.

My son's own performance at the dress rehearsal was by several accounts a thing of wonder, with him singing all the words clear and true and impressing the three aides who mentioned it.

And the concert, you ask? How did he do at the concert?


I guess you could say he did better than I feared and worse than I'd hoped. He spent about half the time singing (and we could hear his piping voice, right on pitch) and half the time standing in a daze sucking on his shirt cuff. In between those two phases were periodic little bouts of movement -- raising his hands over his head, turning around, leaning over, causing the girls on either side of him to inch further and further away. It wasn't terrible. Probably I was the only one who was watching his behavior with such eagle eyes. If he'd been in the back, nobody would have likely noticed him at all. Unfortunately, he was right front and center, and all I could think of was all the chorus parents making videos of the big night and how he was going to be twitching around in the front of ever frame.

But that's wrong thinking. I need to think about what a triumph this was for him to make it through the year and through the evening. He told me he was glad he took chorus and that he had fun, and I need to be happy about that. I need to smile when people tell me how cute he was up there and take it as acceptance, not condescencion. I need to be glad he's a part of the community, participating in ways I would never have imagined he could. And I need to be every bit as proud of him as the parents of the shrill flautists and bleating clarinetists are of their little musicians -- more proud of the effort than of the result.

I'm tryin'. Really, I'm tryin'. And I'll get there. Sometime before next year's concert, anyway.

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