The Juggling Mom vs. the School Christmas Program: Who Will Win?
So in my last post I said that prenatal classes really ought to teach mommies to juggle since that’s what moms do most of the time anyway. Certainly juggling has got to trigger some multitasking section of the brain (which as we all know, does not exist in men’s brains).
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Still, what can I say? Even if I dropped the ball this Christmas season, there was a little bit of grace involved, even if the grace didn’t come from me.
So it’s Thursday, mid-December, 6:00 p.m. when my fifth grader announces, “Oh! I forgot! My school Christmas program is tonight!” (Yes, I know. I’ve got to start checking my kids’ backpacks.)
Of course I’m in the middle of my making dinner, so I’m very inconvenienced by this announcement.
“Uh, what time is this supposed to start?” I ask.
“Well, it starts at 6:00, but since I’m a 5th grader, you don’t really need to be there until 7:00” I am so grateful for this piece of information. Now this is a principal that understands me—a principal that tells me exactly when my son will be performing so I don’t have to stay for the WHOLE BLASTED PROGRAM!
I am such a happy mother. I will get to eat my dinner after all, and maybe even get the dishwasher loaded. I even start humming as I fix dinner when it dons on me (ten minutes later) that I have a kindergartner.
My stomach drops. It is 6:10. The program started at 6:00. I think. I tear through Ricky’s backpack to see if there’s any more information. His backpack is stuffed with papers—seriously you would think the boy is a PhD student, and the poor boy has been carrying it around for weeks. I’m sure there is something symbolic in this, but I can’t think of what that might be.
Finally, I find the paper—the paper that tells parents everything they could want to know about the Christmas program. Or not want to know. I throw all the kids into the car and gas it over to the school.
I drop the kids off at the curb, telling my 5th grader to rush his little brother over to his classroom. Then, since I am the latest parent to arrive, I go park in outer darkness.
Thankfully, so thankfully—the 6th grade orchestra, band, and choir performs first. I get there for the end of the choir and then push my way to the front of the audience. (We moms of five kids have learned to get pretty aggressive).
My little Ricky comes out in a tin soldier costume. He is adorable. I oooh and aaah and cry with all the other parents. I take way too many pictures. I am reminded why I had children in the first place. And I’m grateful for that bit of grace that somehow got me to that Christmas program, even if I am a terrible juggler.
The fifth graders do well too, and I smile when a girl stumbles onto the stage halfway through her class’s performance. The girl was a little aggressive too, which you have to be if you are trying to find your place in the middle of the back row. I should track down that girl’s mother and hug her.
When I get the e-mail from Ricky’s teacher the next day, proudly announcing that every single kindergartner sang at the Christmas program, I sigh. Yes! Maybe I can juggle after all.