a sleigh ride together with you

13 Dec

I just don’t feel right keeping things from you. I want you right here, front and center, riding shotgun in my sleigh-ride-of-December-life. You encourage me and you make me laugh, and that makes you my BFFs. The kind of friends I tell everything to. I heart you.

So let’s talk about what we’re doing this week. Nothing says WILD or BAD PARENTING CHOICES or ARE WE PERHAPS OVERSCHEDULED? like tech week of Nutcracker combined with the last week of school, an Ambleside Candlelight service, a St. Luke’s Sounds of the Season preschool concert, 2 children and a mom on antibiotics, an Annie Get Your Gun! rehearsal and cast party, one class party for the third grade, all polished up and presented on a platter with a finale of four – count ’em, FOUR – Nutcracker performances on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Oh!  Mustn’t forget to bake cookies for several of these events! (maybe enlist children’s grandmother to assist with cookie-baking?  not that grandmother, silly.  The one who enjoys cooking.)

In case you haven’t been with me in the past three years, Nutcracker Tech Week goes like this: Sunday 2-8 Monday 5:30 to 9 Tuesday 5:30 to 9 Wednesday Dress Rehearsal 5:30 to 9 Thursday Dress rehearsal 5:30 to 9 Friday: Curtain 8 p.m. We’ll just squeeze all those other parties and performances in.

Every time I decide that we can skip something, I see how someone else is counting on us, and I start to think “what kind of a mother wants to skip her three year-old’s school choir concert?” (The kind who has mostly mastered being in two places at once, but is still working on three and knows that her preschooler is barely talking, much less singing.) But Miss Pat is so excited and is talking about getting there early to save us seats as the St. Luke’s sanctuary will be nearly bursting with proud parents and grandparents. (note to self: spend lunchtime at Target looking for turtleneck for said choirboy so he can wear his reindeer overalls.) I could slip this one by Henry, but not Miss Pat, and I am aware that I need her to be happy.

I decided to sacrifice Annie get Your Gun’s annual ornament party and fellowship on Tuesday night. I am so sorry we have to miss it. I know the directors have put in hours with hot glue guns and glitter and thought and dedication to their actors (including my two child prodigies), but they have to be at Nutcracker practice. Well so does the director’s daughter, so I have been asked to bring my actors to the Civic Theatre for a quick ornament presentation, and then run my two plus the director’s precious Nutcracker cake-baker daughter up to the Lakeview auditorium for Nutcracker.  I am happy to help out another busy mom.  Especially when mentoring my children is part of her busy-ness (thank you, Miss Elena.)

Wednesday appears almost conflict-free at this point. I am certain that won’t last. It just wouldn’t be fun if there weren’t a juggling challenge every night of the week. So then I thought we could skip Ambleside’s Candlelight Service on Thursday night as it conflicts with Nutcracker’s dress rehearsal.

Apparently not, as it has been pronounced “part of the curriculum” and it is so lovely and the children will be playing their violins (swoon). Is there anything sweeter than to see your child or grandchild beautifully-dressed (even if broken-down and exhausted) and playing such an elegant instrument? And this service epitomizes all that is lovely about Ambleside. there will be no “dashing through the snow” or reindeer antler headbands. This is a concert fitting for the angels – a cappella chants, rounds, hymns. It is such a festival of all that is perfect and beautiful.

If you hear from me at all this week, it will surely be more whining about a predicament that is entirely of my own making. But if you want to enjoy any of the beauty that is the icing on the cake of endless practices and performances, please feel free to come and sit with me. I miss you when you’re not there for the good parts.  And this — the culmination of what we’ve practiced all year?  this is definitely the best part.

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5 Responses to “a sleigh ride together with you”

  1. Esmer December 13, 2010 at 10:05 pm #

    Go get ’em, Claire!

  2. dad December 14, 2010 at 11:51 pm #

    Whew…I’m tired…Think I’d better take a little nap.

    • brightenthecorner December 15, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

      Daddy, that would be funny if I didn’t know that you were serious.

      Could you please send reinforcements?

  3. dad December 15, 2010 at 11:56 pm #

    Help is on the way…The cavalry’s about to arrive.

  4. Shelly Lodes Ladden January 6, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

    How nice to have a cavalry! Also nice to know when you have parented well, your children appreciate it, turn out nicely and provide such beautifully, artistic, well mannered little grandchildren that you can fawn over. We’ll get there, too, Claire.

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