Friday, October 5, 2012

Confession of an Unexcited Parent

I love my kids. I love them like a fat kid loves cake (I was a fat kid so I can say it). I love them in a way that only a parent can really understand. When they are messy, crabby, and selfish I love them. They do things that make me want to pull my hair out. They sometimes make choices that make me wonder who they are and where they came from. I have even sometimes wondered if we're related at all. When there is understandable reason to want to put them out of the house with every filthy thing they hoard in their rooms, I still love the hell out of them. They're my kids. That's how I roll.

Now that we've established that I'm not some cruel, heartless, despicable excuse for a mother, I need to tell you something. Their school events do not excite me. The thrill was gone for each event after the first time. When event day rolls around I check the clock, count the minutes, and make plans to shift my ENTIRE LIFE around to attend. I know what you're thinking, "Angie, we see your Four Square checks ins. You go to work and you go home you lazy twat." All I have to say to that is, "Okay, you're right. I have no life."

Today I sent a text to a friend mentioning that I'd be attending my son's Cadet Choir concert tonight. "Excited?" He asked. My response? "Me? LOL No. I am always proud, but if you think parents get excited about these things you will be really let down when you have kids. I just checked with the parents around me and we all agree the thrill is gone after Kindergarten."

For the most part, I was being honest. The other parents did side with me. We're minute counters. We gaze lovingly at our children on the stage. We cheer when they do something great on the court or the field. We shout encouragement when they hit a rough spot. However, excited we are not. Truthfully, half the time, even our kids aren't excited. Nervous? Perhaps. But unless it's a big showcase event, you won't hear, "I am so excited!" Not from any of us.

Both of my kids played instruments. Listening to them practice at home was torture. My daughter had the squeaky, screeching tenor sax. My son had the booming tuba and the low droning and sometimes squeaking baritone. Going to band concerts is a proud moment of seeing your child walk onto the stage and take their chair. After that, it's an hour of squeaking and often off-note hell. Do I enjoy it once I'm there? Sure. Do I roll my eyes the entire day leading up to it when I think that I will need to leave work early to make dinner, get the errands done, and get my workout in before I have to get ready? Yep. 

Football was much the same. The game was exciting when my son got playing time. It was exciting before I felt ostracized for becoming the loud coachy side lines mom. Afternoon games stretch into the evening. The warmth of the day cools and settles into the bones. I started counting the minutes until I could take my child to Burger King or McDonald's for a celebratory treat. The treat was always offered as a reward for a job well done, but really, it was a celebratory treat for me... for making it through the event without calling my own audible. "OMG CAN WE JUST GO HOME ALREADY?!" Yay me!

Tonight though, at the day long dreaded Choir Watch 2012, I paid my $5 and sat in the auditorium. I watched my son climb the stairs to the stage and take his place on the risers. When the Cadet Choir took their turn in the spotlight, I focused on his face and the glare off his glasses, watching as he sang. To my surprise, out of the group of approximately 75 students half an auditorium away, I heard my son's voice. The smile on my face grew by a mile and my heart swelled with pride, but it wasn't excitement. Maybe it was something better. We didn't even need a treat on the way home to make it all worth it. It was that good.

Just off center, inside the red circle, is the man, the myth, the legend, my son. 

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