School concerts. Remember those? The year isn’t officially over until a child dressed up as a mince pie sings ‘Noel Noel’ and a number (big or small) of parents are huddled into a hall, seated on uncomfortable chairs waiting for their child to make their theatrical debut.
In a parent’s mind their child is an award winning thespian. In reality not so much. End of year school concerts were a nightmare for me. My best friend had the voice of an angel and got leading roles over and over again. I don’t know how many times she was the Virgin Mary. It got to a point where she didn’t even have to audition.
Me, well I didn’t have to audition either. But for completely different reasons. I cannot sing. Never could, still can’t. So I always got the non-singing role. One year I was the back end of a donkey and another year I was the star the three wise men followed to the manger. I’m not sure if this was because of my noticeable size, or because it was a non singing role. There was a year I was cast as a Christmas turkey but somehow even with my ‘gobble gobbles’ I managed to sing along to the festive tunes.
After that the only role I was given was to play the drum in the song ‘Little Drummer Boy’. The idea behind this was that I’d be concentrating so hard on drumming I’d forget to sing and if I did join in the sound of the drum would drown my less than angelic voice out.
My mom and dad would applaud with the rest of the parents and tell me how wonderful my drumming was and how proud they were of me if nobody else was close by but if people were in earshot they’d mumble something along the lines of ‘your mom and dad would be so proud. I’m sure they’re really sad they couldn’t be here’, while looking around shiftily.
So now I find myself, as a mom, squeezing into teeny tiny chairs made for toddlers and waifs, waiting for my child to sing, dance, play an instrument. Or not. There’s a good chance she might freeze, make a mad dash for me, or the door or stand there with a finger in her nose.
The good news is they’re only once a year. The bad news, I have another 13 or so to go.