My emotions have been deliberately and shamelessly manipulated by the children’s choir teacher (who happens to be a personal friend of mine, so I can’t yell at her without consequences).
Every year about this time the 200 kids that make up the different high school choirs put on this really great program they call Gold Dust in which they perform crowd pleasing numbers with choreography, costumes – the whole nine yards.
Because your chromosomes are stronger than Troy’s, each of the kids will excel in choir as opposed to, say soccer. Mwa-ha-ha.
Joy is too tame a word to express how much you love watching your children perform. They have pitch (which is not a given at this age), facial expression and, sorry babe; while none of them can throw or catch a ball, man, your offspring can dance! The boys are charming and Jenny Girl redeems your high school experience by beautifully pulling off sparkly cocktail dresses you could only ever wear in your wildest fantasies.
There is a down side to Gold Dust, however: the Senior Slide show.
So, you’re two thirds of the way through the evening, having a wonderful time, suspecting nothing when a giant screen ominously descends; as you watch, helpless, the baby and senior pictures of each senior student involved in the evening parades before you. It’s celebratory, sweet, and pure torture.
Oh, look, there’s your adorable, chubby cheeked baby that you long to have back but will never again hold followed by (click) your wonderful teenager, chubby cheeks gone, all grown up and about to walk out of your life because they just don’t need you anymore. Grief and loss start that prickling sensation in your nose as you wonder where the years have gone and worry that they will never call you. Isn’t this a beautiful moment? Sobs and sniffles echo throughout the auditorium as sadness and nostalgia overcome the audience.
And its choir, so there’s a soundtrack.
While we’re visually assaulted, kids take turns singing emotionally abusive songs like Butterfly Kisses or Billy Joel’s I’m Moving Out – totally oblivious to the fact that they are ripping hearts through the navel of every parent in the room – only thinking about how much they’re going to miss their friends. The little narcissists.
When it’s over, they make jokes about selling Kleenex to the moms in a previously written skit. So don’t try to tell me that no one realized what this would do to us. We have been emotionally brutalized – on purpose!
And the district has the gall to ask us to vote in more money for the arts? Here’s a thought: how about wrapping up the event with a full service bar in the commons? There’s a lucrative fundraiser for you. Surely the average high school Junior can handle mixing a sour apple-tini. With the way the economy’s going it will be useful for them to have the experience on their resume because we all know that even the engineering student will wind up moving back home to tend bar at the local pub. Win, win.
This is starting to sound bitter. I do know the choir teacher and she’s pretty nice. Maybe she’s just pushing us to deal with our feelings instead of stuffing. Or perhaps this is a warm up for graduation?
Whatever her reason, it gives me comfort to know that this dear woman is the mother of twin toddlers. Her time – and sweet revenge – are coming. Ha, ha. Ha ha ha ha!
Older Wiser You