Around the world millions of parents are engaged in the same activity – attending their children's holiday school event. Last week we attended the South High School Winter Spectacular! My son plays the guitar in the jazz band and my daughter the viola in the orchestra.
Every year we go to these events expecting to be a little bored, a little inconvenienced, hoping not to fall asleep. Coming at the end of a work day as they tend to do, we rush through dinner to make it on time and get a decent parking space.
Then the auditorium darkens, the stage lights go up and the music begins. Any lingering annoyance suddenly vanishes. In its place is pride, happiness, and a nostalgic kind of joy. Our eyes sting a little, our hearts ache a little. Remember when she was five and played a cow in the nativity play? Or when he was an elf in Santa's Chorus? When was that the second grade?
Now they're in high school. All these children, now young adults, and still they have no idea how beautiful they all are.
This year's show was exceptional. Do we say that every year? I am grateful to the work put in by the teachers, too. They seemed to enjoy the performance as much as the kids, conducting and directing with all the gusto of Broadway impresarios.
Movies like The Bells of St. Mary's, as well as that old tearjerker, Penny Serenade, and a personal favorite, Love Actually, all captured some of this bittersweet, universal experience. I hope you enjoy your school holiday pageant as much as we did ours.