Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Concerts

The school had their Christmas concert a couple of weeks ago. Chet played with the band, and Faith sang with the Honors Choir. There was a huge crowd, and the auditorium was packed. Jack and I ended up sitting near the back of the room with our friends. During the concerts, I was taken back in time.

I joined the band in the 6th grade. In fact, we played some of the same songs that Chet's band played. My mom, my brother, Gramma, Papa, Great-Gramma and Great-Aunt Clair came to that first concert an hour early to make sure they had front row seats. In fact, they never missed a concert in the four years I was in band. Nor did they ever fail to be there an hour early to get their front row seats. When I was old enough for marching band, they would be on the parade route and sit through hours of floats going by just to see me for a minute or so as I marched by.

Because kids are kids, I was often teased about my family being there, front and center and early for every show. I remember feeling so embarrassed and wanting to hide under my seat. I think I even asked my mom to PLEASE sit somewhere else. But Great-Gramma needed to be up front because her diabetes was blinding her and she couldn't climb stairs or weave through rows of chairs, and I had no say in the matter.

During those years I really thought my family was there because they liked music. And it was true, they did love music. My Great-Gramma was a classically trained vocalist and a concert pianist. However, if you have ever heard a 6th grade beginning band concert, you know that nobody is there simply because they are a music connoisseur. They aren't there because the music is so intricate and compelling. They are there because they love somebody on that stage. My family was there, every single time, because they loved me. (Although Jesse didn't have much say in the matter either. Attending his sister's concerts was rather compulsory for him.)

As I sat near the back of the room because I had arrived too late to snag front row seats, I thought of those concerts of the past. I thought of how Gramma and Great-Gramma and Aunt Clair are all gone now. I thought of Papa who has been unwell and unable to travel. I thought of Mom and Jesse, who are over 2,000 miles away. I wanted to cry.

Because I wish I had appreciated their presence and their support.

Because I wish I had thanked them.

But mostly I wanted to cry because I wish they could have been there to see my kids' concert. In the front row. An hour early.

And just because they loved music so much.

3 comments:

Sue said...

What a sweet post Jenn! I must be feeling emotional this morning because it made me cry :) Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Anonymous said...

I wish I could have been there too.

Love you all and see you soon.

MoM

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a good memory - I might not have been there, but hearing about my mom and her love and support of you made me think about her warmly and miss her as well, wishing she were here to see her grand kids now.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to you all!
Love, Cousin Nicole

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