Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Farewell to pageants

Tomorrow's the first day of December, and you know what that means: school Christmas pageant season is upon us. This is always a risky time for my son, who gets overstimulated by all the music rehearsals and acts out all over the place. One year I even had to yank him from the pageant to keep his behavior on some sort of reasonable level. But he's calmed down with time and now there's just a small spike in "unsatisfactory" markings on his daily behavior chart to let me know the pageant process is underway. I'm still not sure that the amount of charm generated by the sight of small children in makeshift costumes singing hokey holiday tunes is worth all the disruption preparing for it entails, but this is my last year to be the Grinch. Next year, my youngest goes off to middle school, and there they're not so much with the outfits and the carols.

I won't miss sitting on hard folding chairs in an overheated gym behind some bozo with a video camera, straining through class after class of endless musical endeavor for a glimpse of a child I know. But I will miss the way the powers behind our elementary school's Christmas programs always try to wedge in songs or poems for every possible ethnic group and religious celebration, giving rise to sections with names like "Traditions of Mexico and Austria." This year, my son's grade is learning Hannukah songs, one of which, I note with some amusement, is in Spanish for maximum multicultural effect. Yeah, I'm going to miss this stuff. But the month of pageant practice in place of class time and dress rehearsals replacing recess and Christmas spirit offset by out-of-control behavior from the small boy? Nope, not nostalgic at all.

No comments: