Give a Random Hug, Kick Up Your Heels and Jingle Your Bells

Last week was my children’s Christmas concert at school. I absolutely adore watching children sing. It is hands down one of my favorite things in the world.

I have been going to the same school for years now to watch this event. It started when my nieces went to school there and I would go to watch them sing. Two years ago I got to go watch my daughter Iris’s first performance and this year began the tradition with my son, Bency.

I have come to anticipate the hilarity and sweetness of this event.

My daughter’s performance was at 8:30 in the morning. Two hundred 2nd and 3rd graders filled the risers. 400 family members filled the bleachers. The children sang their hearts out, played their instruments and tried their best to get their hand motions in sync. Iris was picked to do the polka this year and her heel kicking had me in stitches! My family and I were high in the bleachers. My 2 year old son sat on my husband’s lap enjoying every minute.

Iris all ready to sing her heart out!

Iris all ready to sing her heart out!

My son Bency’s performance was at 1:30 in the afternoon. Two hundred Kindergarten and 1st graders filled the risers. 400 family members filled the bleachers. The children sang their hearts out. My family was on the very bottom bleacher. My 2 year old son was antsy. He didn’t want to sit and enjoy this performance. He wanted to run free. We tried to contain him but he kicked and whined. In an attempt to not have the gymnasium filled with screams we let him go. He stayed near us for the most part, doing spins and twirls, minding his own business.

Cesar spinning and twirling and doing his own thing during the concert

Cesar spinning and twirling and doing his own thing during the concert

I kept my eyes on Bency who decided to make up his own hand motions to the songs and put a twirl in here and there when the spirit moved him.

Bency at this first Christmas concert

Bency at this first Christmas concert

A group of 1st graders gathered on the gymnasium floor to sing a special song and play the xylophones. Cesar stopped twirling momentarily. He gazed at the performers. Something struck a chord in him because out of nowhere he ran over to one of the 1st grade girls and gave her a hug mid dong on her xylophone.

I immediately ran to retrieve him and felt hot, redness fill my face knowing the whole gymnasium of people just watched me scrape my 2 year old from the embraces of one of the performers.

As I sat there trying to recover from my embarrassment, my son Bency and his class made their way to the gymnasium floor to perform a special song with the accompaniment of bells. The music teacher began playing the piano and cued the kids to begin singing. All the kids began caroling except for Bency who stood up and began walking around and searching wildly for something. Bency lost his jingle bells.

The music teacher noticed, stopped playing the piano and announced, “I have never stopped during a concert before but this is really important.” She then proceeded to find another bell and go give it to Bency.

More redness filled my face thinking about the fact that my child was the first to ever cause a concert to be stopped before.

This was my favorite Christmas concert I have ever attended. This concert took place on December 14, 2012. This was the same day that 20 elementary children were killed in Newtown, CT. I learned a little bit about this right before I left for my daughter’s concert. I learned a little more throughout that day. Today, I know a lot.

I know that I am very blessed I got to see my children sing.

I am blessed that I got to see my 2 year old give someone a random hug for no reason.

I am blessed that Iris kicked up her heels to the polka and that Bency got to jingle his bell.

I am not embarrassed anymore.

7 Innings of Boring

My good friend Jeff put this on his Facebook status last month. I absolutely loved it and it came at such a perfect time for me! Read and be enlightened:

Let the good Reverend holla at you all for a moment. Facebook is the greatest show on earth, but make no mistake about it. It’s a show. It’s 3 card monte. It’s smoke and mirrors. It’s the ultimate dog and pony show. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some facebook, but let’s keep it real. Facebook is a photo of Sunday’s lobster dinner and not Monday-Saturday’s hamburger helper and tacos. Some facebook members stress over people’s pages. Don’t. Behind some of those smiling portraits are lives of quiet desperation. Be careful what you wish for and be happy with what you have. I love facebook. There’s nothing wrong with capturing the highlights, but for every highlight is 7 innings of boring. Celebrate the good times. Enjoy the show.

When he posted this I was currently feeling jealous of everyone’s beautiful vacation pictures, nights out, amazing dinners and happy smiles abound! I felt I possibly lived the most boring life ever (okay, I kind of do)! Anyway, he changed my thinking because he is totally right…nothing is always as it appears! I have a GOOD life and as boring as it is….it is filled with a LOT of blessings! I am very lucky and can always use a good reminder…thanks so much Jeff!

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This looks like the perfect image of a completely cute, innocent toddler (our little Cesar) taking a stroll through his Grandma’s garden….right?!

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In all actuality, 30 minutes before this, Cesar had stolen a Hershey bar one of the older kids had laid on a chair. He sneaked it into the backyard and managed to open it by himself and devour it. He came back looking like this. No one wanted to touch him or pick him up because he was covered in sticky, gooey chocolate…so he took a stroll over to Grandma’s garden! (Would you have guessed looking at the first photo he was suffering from a serious stealing problem?)

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Sometimes these kids are the best of friends!

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Plenty of times they’re NOT!

Important lesson for today…things aren’t always as they appear. We all have our ups and downs! That’s what makes this life interesting!