Having four children sometimes has me running in all different directions, even before I start to run myself in tiny circles.
Christmas time only adds more mandatory events, more end of the season studies, more parties with volunteer opportunities, and of course, more Christmas
After countless end of the year projects, orchestra concerts, band concert preparation, swim tryouts, and worries of teacher gifts/donations for fall parties….. We finally made our way to the final performance of the season….the Christmas choir performance.
I dropped two to swim practice, and one to the choir door, before my youngest daughter and I made our way into the GIANT line to the auditorium, despite her insistence that it was too early to sit down.
I have always been fascinated by those parents that show up an hour early, just to stand at the front of the closed glass doors, waiting for them to open……FOR AN HOUR… JUST to get front row seats, to a show that they CLEARLY didn't need to stand in line for…
My daughter was exceptionally clingy this night, but I chalked it up to her tiredness, and general malaise/cold symptoms she had exhibited recently. Holding tightly to her, we slowly made our way into the auditorium. As I looked around, I saw countless people that I didn't necessarily know, but yet recognized clearly…
…..The mom that always waits the hour to get front row seats to see her child prodigy….The dad that picks the seat on the aisle, and is already setting up his tripod stand, to video the whole performance…and, of course, the mom that has saved an entire row of seats, with her jacket, purse, slip, tampon wrapper, and the sock from her own left foot…..just so she can look like a celebrity to her kinship, when her family reunion lets out!
Because it was about 8 rows back, but mostly because I thought it looked like it might be entertaining, I nestled us in right behind the reserved row. I found myself staring at this lady amusingly, every time she explained to a parent that she was saving the entire row… The woman had flushed cheeks, and made perfect eye contact with the floor, with each new response….
I envied her bravery, and knew I would never be as strong as this woman….
However, as she was holding strong, I was dealing with issues of my own.
My daughter began coughing constantly. I gently reminded her to cough into her sleeve or coat, as people started to stare at us, annoyed that we were in such close proximity.
My daughter was pleading for me to let her watch videos on my phone. I was reminding her of how many germs were on her hands, as I watched the room fill to capacity, leaving mostly standing room only.
My daughter was showing me how clean her hands were, still begging me to play on my phone. I ignored her and watched as the woman in front of me turned another group of two away, from her row of ten saved.
My daughter was coughing on the leaning lady beside us, as I began to hear the Christmas commotion erupting in front of us. I ignored the coughing as I was preparing to witness the kind of Christmas cheer that has become more and more prevalent!!!
“Ma'am! You cannot save a whole row of seats”!!
The man loudly berated my brave neighbor, while stealing the seats she had worked so hard to obtain! She gruffly asked for her jacket back, and moved her sock down a seat, deciding not to fight back. She sat down, looking embarrased and defeated, but she still had six more seats… Who would she give them to?
I found myself wondering just where was the Christmas spirit…the love…the joy we should all be sharing this season?!
I almost had forgotten about my sick child….
As I reached to feel her newly hot forehead, the show had started. The guests of the lady in front of me had still not shown, but no one threatened her further. My daughter was coughing harder, becoming more clingy, and was desperately trying to make a nest in her seat…my seat….and the seat of the lady next to us.
I attempted to take a picture of my son on stage, by stretching one arm around my daughters limp neck, and while patting her with the other, but it was to no avail! Even though I was pleased to be able to maintain my balance and dexterity, he was hidden behind the two girls on either side of him! Still, the music was angelic, and I got lost in the moment…until…
…My daughter was hacking again! This time she was proudly showing me the blood clot she retrieved from her nose when she last wiped it…Grimacing, and not making eye contact with the lady next to me, I gestured for her to wipe it on her coat. Then, I motioned for her to lay her head on my lap. Wadding her coat for a pillow, she carefully pushed the blood clot to the center portion of her coat, and made sure I noted that she was not placing it directly on my lap…. She was a true cherub!!!
Her small gesture made me begin to feel that Christmas spirit again. Three songs later, my son was done singing. Only 14 more songs of watching other people kids were yet to come. Only 14 more songs to hear my daughter's partially covered cough, and only 14 more songs to get leering looks from the people around me….
Just when I thought I could take not another leer, The Lord Jesus showed his face in the form of a human Christmas spirit!! The germ infested lady next to us finally leaned towards us for the first time, with a slight GRIN and a hand full of mint condition goodies and said…..
“Can I PLEASE give your daughter a cough drop”!
……Tis the season….:)