Diary
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End of an Era

Yesterday I attended my very last ever {I hope} Preschool Christmas Program.

I don’t necessarily relish these programs.  I think they’re rather silly, frankly, and just another example of how we tend to worship our children in our culture.  I always find myself sitting alone amongst the throng of moms and dads and siblings and grandparents and godparents and aunts and uncles and babysitters and anyone else who might want to watch Johnny pick his nose on stage, each wielding an electronic device of some sort.

My favorites are always the ones who video tape the. entire. show.  If you are one of those, god bless ya, but how can you even enjoy it through that 3- by 4-inch screen?

Even though I tend to mock the whole experience, yesterday was bittersweet.  My littlest processed in with that look of expectation and trepidation that my kids always wear when entering an auditorium full of over exuberant adults waving madly with freakishly overindulgent smiles plastered on their faces, anxiously awaiting the performance of their little angels.  (And yes, I most certainly fit into that description.)

She didn’t see me until she was on the risers, in her position, and then she spotted me almost instantly.  The smile of recognition spread across her face, and she waved and blew me kisses.

When they started to sing, I used my handy dandy SLR with the mega zoom lens to take a few, okay maybe 20 pictures, then I sat back to enjoy the show without a camera lens as my intermediary.

She did everything she was supposed to.  She smiled, she sang, she rang her little jingle bells, she kept her eyes on the teacher except when she was checking back to make sure that my eyes were firmly planted on her and her alone.

And of course they were.

Afterward, as we crossed the parking lot headed to our car, I told her how proud I was of her behavior and her performance. She smiled like her heart was going to burst and squeezed my hand and then took off skipping to the car where she immediately broke into her goodie bag and declared it “the. best. day. EVER.”

Maybe these silly programs aren’t so silly after all.

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9 thoughts on “End of an Era

  1. I still have a few more preschool Christmas programs to attend over the next few years and I love them:-) I still remember my own lines when I was in the Christmas pageant when I was 4-and the song. I entertain my children with it each year. If you miss it next year, you can join me at Isaac’s program or call me and I’ll sing.

  2. I think you nailed it! It’s not about us, it’s about them and how proud they get when they have the opportunity to show us what they have been up to at that place called preschool.

    But yeah the whole extended family thing always throws me off too. Dads taking off work, babysitters, aunts, uncles, godparents, etc. It’s usually just me that goes, and that feels a little small compared to the crew some kids have at these concerts!

  3. My son doesn’t enjoy it and never does the hand motions, and the school writes a note home about it blah blah blah. Not fun for us ;)! I am hoping they don’t do them in K next year!

  4. My youngest is 9 so we ended preschool programs some years back. I too had mixed feelings about the whole child-centered “worship” idea. I appreciate the way you stated it. And as a mom of three boys, none of them were every crazy about the dressing up, the hand motions, the singing—aaaaaah! It was torture to get them there and nail-biting, breath-holding that they wouldn’t slug the guy next to them out of sheer boredom. I don’t miss those days. Really, I don’t.

  5. I’m one of those moms who only films when they are singing and I only film my child. Does that make me a bad mama? And top it off, this year I missed my youngest singing in his first and only Kindergarten Christmas program. I was home with vertigo. I made his dad go and film and he to only filmed when they were singing but he panned the whole class. Merry Christmas!! Hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday.

  6. I went to the play of a little girl that we babysat five days a week from the time she was three months to the age of four. SHE was adorable, but the little boy that started crying because he saw his mom (while she beamed because he loved her so) was not lol.
    Your sweetie looks great (and obviously wasn’t picking HER nose). I can definitely see why you don’t find them so silly when your child is the one proclaiming it the best day ever 🙂
    Merry Christmas!

  7. Each program is bitter sweet to me. Each year is another year gone, another year older. It makes me tear a little to think of how much older my daughter is getting. But the program itself…they always make me cringe a bit. So cheesy, but Boo loves them.

  8. As a teacher I often wonder how parents feel about the programs we put on at school. I guess like anything else it is a mixed bag. I really enjoyed reading all of the thoughts on this topic.

    Ashley DeMazza
    Falls Village, CT

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