I didn’t want to go.
I said it.
I didn’t want to go to my son’s Christmas concert.
It’s just...all those people shoved in a tiny space.
But Tommy really wanted to go even though his class was only going to be singing one song.
“Can’t you just, like, sing the song to me now? Here, I’ll sit on the couch, you sing,” I said hopefully.
Tommy made a face. “It’s not the same!”
I knew he was right. So I said we could go.
I already knew what song Tommy was going to be singing. He had been singing it the entire week and to be honest, I was starting to hate the lyrics to O Tannenbaum.
We got to Tommy’s school early to get a parking spot and a good seat. The concert was also a tree lightening ceremony and this tiny plastic tree sat in the middle of the stage.
So the ceremony began and each grade level got to sing a song.
“And everyone can sing along,” the music teacher shouted.
The Dad in front of me, who I dubbed Disgruntled Dad, said to his wife, “You didn’t say we had to sing! I’m not singing!”
“Then don’t,” his wife hissed at him.
I swallowed my laughter down. It sounded like something Tom would say. Tom, by the way, was not there. He was at work. But it was okay, the kids were behaving. Natalie was enjoying the singing and would watch with her thumb stuck in her mouth.
“You’re not singing,” Tommy whispered to me. “You’re supposed to sing too.”
The thing is, my voice sucks and it has been known to cause my own children, my flesh and blood, to cover their ears.
“You really don’t have to sing to me, Mommy,” my son once said. “You can just…read.” And then he tossed a book in my lap.
“Mommy doesn’t want to sing,” I answered.
“You have to sing!” Tommy insisted. He’s big on following the rules which yes, is a good thing, but I don’t think he comprehended that it wasn’t really a rule.
“Fa la la la la la la la la!” I sang to Deck the Halls.
Some parents would go crazy when their kid would take the stage. I’m talking racing down the aisles, rolling on the ground with a camera crazy.
The fifth graders came out with some guitars and the music teacher talked about how they were doing a guitar unit in music class. I never did a guitar unit in music class. I think we just got some triangles and were told to go nuts with it.
“Please sing along!” the music teacher said.
“I’m not singing!” Disgruntled Dad started up again. “Why does she keep saying that?”
I coughed to mask my giggle.
“Sing Mommy!” Tommy reminded me.
Then Tommy’s class was called up and he waved when he got on stage.
“BROTHER! HI BROTHER!” Natalie shouted. “BROTHER IS SINGIN’!”
(Jazz hands! No really, they did arm movements as they sang..)
Soon after that, it was time to light the tree. The lights were clicked off and Natalie was all, “Why dark? Mommy, it’s dark? WHY DARK?”
“The tree is going to be lit,” I explained.
Then the tree switched on and that was that.
Exiting took some time. There were people everywhere. I felt like a cow being herded to the exit so I went, “Moo,” and then someone else went, “Moo,” and then one old bat went, “That’s really not funny.”
Actually, cranky old Mom with the tacky Santa sweater, it is.
As we drove home, I started to think, “Yay, Tommy is done with singing O Tannenbaum!” But then a few minutes later, guess what Tommy starts singing?
“O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum, your leaves are ever changing...”
It’s going to be a long December.