Can We Be Honest?

Confessions of a Burned-Out Concert Mom

For any of you with school-aged children, you know that May is the busiest time of year – school parties, field trips and concerts for every program out there. Our kids are in band, theater, choir and dance, and we average about two shows every week. You’d think we’d love it. You’d think.

But here’s the awful truth: I don’t care for the shows…except for my children’s parts. Oh, let me tell you, when they’re on stage, I can’t keep the grin off my face or the tears from forming (the latter being from pride, not lack of talent). And yes, there are some students who are so gifted, they get my undivided attention (unless they’re sharing the stage with my child). But then there’s all the rest. And there’s a LOOOOOOOT of all the rest. These two-and-a-half hour concerts make a Jerry Lewis telethon (showing my age) look like a 30-second commercial.

Who decided that students need to sing EVERY verse in a song? Hasn’t anyone ever heard of, “Leave them wanting more.” And don’t think I’m the only hater. Case in point: Last night, as the singer was going into verse three, I heard the sighs, the shifting, the very quiet moans from the people behind me. I was in the first row, so I pasted on a smile and gave the girl encouraging nods. When the fifth verse started, I turned my gaze to the accompanist and burned her with telepathic messages begging her to stop.

To make matters worse, my kids are first-year students. This means their classes usually play/dance/ sing one or two songs at most, while the rest of the program pays tribute to all the other classes, usually focusing on the graduating students. That’s fine. They deserve it. But can’t you just let my kid go first? Do I have to sit for an hour and a half to wait for one song, and then wait another hour to hear the second one? Couldn’t they come up with some kind of fast-pass?

“Your child is scheduled to perform between 8:02 and 8:12. Please report to the auditorium doors by 7:50.”

Oh well, it is what it is. We have three more events in the next eight days. I’ll have my camera, bottle of water, and a shawl. It gets cold in those auditoriums. And I can hide my iPad while I read my book.

I know. So rude. But you know I’m not alone.