April 16, 2015

"Black and white...

Thing #3 shoved me into a role I was not at all prepared for seventeen years ago.  God told me that the role of "Music/Theatre/Choir Mom" will now be played by...MOI?  It was black and white that I was ill equipped. I was pretty darn excellent at being a "Sports Mom".  I had two go-rounds and perfected the role with Things #1 and #2.  But Thing #3 pushed me onto a new stage.  And for someone who only sounds waaaaaaay awesome when singing in the shower, or in the car by myself...I knew nuthin' 'bout 'nuthin in my new role.  Lots of improvisation, acting,  and a "show must go on" attitude ensued.  Yes, by Thing #3...but mostly by MOI!

"Black and White -Triptych"
(yes, my Thing #3 is in there)
Providence, Rhode Island

I spent last weekend up in Providence, Rhode Island where Thing #3 was selected to perform in an All-East Choir.  It was pretty cool.  A mixed-choir of high school students from Maine to Maryland.  Oh, the glorious voices.  Oh, the abundant talent.  Oh, I can't believe I'm just starting to get the hang of this "Music/Theatre/Choir Mom" thang and it's almost all over!  

Yep, we are in the 9th inning final act of Thing #3's high school years.  Graduation in only 2 months.  But what I realize now is, altho the venues are different...Music, Theatre, Choir parents and Sports parents are pretty much the same.  The good, the bad, AND the ugly.  Truth is, I NEVER thought there could be anything to rival some of the Sports Parents I'd encountered over the years.  I was wrong.  And let's be honest here. The GOOD stuff is easy, there is really nothing to learn here because it's all enjoyable. It's the BAD and UGLY characteristics in parents in whatever activity you are involved in, that you have to learn to "deal" with.  Turns out I'd seen it all before.  Different venues and arenas, but same small (luckily!) group of parents:

1.  The parent who is obviously living their dreams thru their kids.  Whether it be a athlete or a movie star.  They push, they are performance driven.  Instead of supporting their kids interests and dreams, they often alienate them, or burn them out.

2.  The parent who leaves after their own child's role/performance is done.  You know, as soon as their kid  has had their "at bat" or their "singing solo".

3.  The parent who thinks their kid is the best, and works overtime to make sure YOU know it too.  With Things #1 and #2 I use to get REALLY PEEVED at these parents.  With Thing  #3 (and maybe my advanced age and wisdom) I now kinda feel sorry for them.  It's obvious they are insecure and need to put others down in order to elevate themselves.  Okay, it is STILL irritating.  But I feel a bit better undertanding they have issues of their own to deal with long after the game, or production, has ended.

4.  The parent who fails to appreciate the lessons that come with getting knocked down.  Whether it is a loss in a game, or not getting a role you auditioned for.  Casting blame or making excuses is all you will get from these parents.

Which leads me directly to the most upsetting of all parents...

5.  The parent who doesn't STICK.  You know the ones.  They take their kid to another travel team, or to another theatre production when things don't go their way.  As a result, they don't teach the important life lessons of perseverance and commitment.  Instead, they foster a "the grass is always greener" mentality in their kids, and themselves.

Turns out, I really had nothing to worry about at all.  Not that I've ever let that stop me.  I'd seen it all before.  Luckily, the good far outweighs the bad and ugly.  And that is a fact both on the playing field AND the stage.  It's just that black and white.  It makes it a bit easier to put it all into perspective. At least from MY point of view.  I have to say I really enjoyed my years as a Music, Theatre, Choir  parent.  Waaaaay less sweating.  I got to dress up more.  I didn't leave performances with a raspy throat from yelling and cheering, just sore hands from clapping.  I had MUCH better "hair days".  I consumed way less Advil.  And....the seating was sooooo much more comfy than bleachers and benches.

Regardless of which "parent" role I was playing with each of my three Things, I was far from giving a brilliant performance.  But a few things were always constant despite the venue...my pride, admiration support and love were ALWAYS present.  It's as simple as Black and White.

Here's where I "link up" today.

(click on image for description of Song-ography)
Next Tuesday's Song-ography title suggestion is "The Miracle" by Queen.
Come back and link up!  (blog, instagram, flickr photos welcome)