Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Concerted effort

Well, we survived another All City band concert. My daughter looked beautiful in her white shirt and black pants -- a welcome departure from her usual baggy sweats -- and her band didn't sound too bad. Whoever organizes these things had mercifully combined all the 7th and 8th grade bands and cut down on the windbag speeches by administrative types, so the event was less of a marathon than last year's. The biggest news of the evening for our family, though, is that my son, never one for sitting still and quiet in auditoriums, actually made it through a couple of bands' worth of music.

My husband brought him in late, just in time for his sister's performance, and he made it through that one fine. He asked to stay for more, and listened peaceably to two more songs. We should have quit while we were ahead then, but he asked to stay for the next group and since he was still being pretty quiet, we acquiesced. Unfortunately, he ran out of self-control halfway through their second song and uttered those dreaded words: "I need to go home. Now." We made him wait until the next break, feeling that stepping over people during a song would be unacceptably disruptive, but maybe it would have been less disruptive than when he started singing along. Loudly. And poking his shoeless foot at the head of the lady in front of him.

So the evening ended less than successfully, especially since, when my son runs out of control, that's it for the night, he's off into orbit, and wrestling him into bed was no treat. But I'm thrilled that he tried, and thrilled that he made it as long as he did, and thrilled that he so wanted to. It's even good that he was able to articulate that he needed to leave rather than just demonstrating it with his behavior. Now if we could just get that articulation about 10 minutes before he actually implodes, we'd really be getting somewhere.

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