Victory is mine!
Not yet Mission Accomplished
But well on our way…
It was only a few short months ago when I shared a disastrous family outing, when in a fit of “culture” I made my kids come with me to the Lollipops Concert by the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. Not a single thing went right, and I lamented that I had purchased a subscription to the series.
The second performance was yesterday.
I decided to prime the pump by telling the kids earlier in the week of our plans.
“Do you know where the ballroom is this time?” asked my 10-year-old daughter, head cocked, eyebrows raised. Last time it was my fault we missed all the kids activities, located in the ballroom, which set up the domino effect of tears, pouting and misery for the morning.
Don’t you dare cop that teenage attitude with me little miss I-just-turned-10-and-got-my-ears-pierced…
“Yes, sweetie. I know where to go this time.” I smiled, but it was that ‘…and your little dog too’ kind of witch smile.
Then I approached my 6-year-old boy. He struggled to remember the event from the last time. Finally, he said “Was that where we sang “Old McMaestro Had a Farm?”
“Yes! That’s it!”
“I LOVED that, I’m so excited!” he blurted.
Why you lying sack of sh…
“I’m so glad you are looking forward to it. The theme this time is space. I think it will be really cool.” You could still hear the echo from my jaw hitting the floor as I left the room. You gotta love the revisionist history skills of children.
Approaching the big event, I stacked the deck a little in my favor. My daughter had a friend staying the night before, and I got another ticket so she could come with us. That way, my girl had someone other than me to pout to, and my son would get more of my undivided attention. It was a good plan, a solid plan. Until…
It snowed. Several inches. And in Cincinnati, a few inches of snow is like 10 feet in Buffalo. People can’t drive, the city seems to lose the keys to all but one plow and it is inexplicably out of salt. What seemed like “plenty of time to get there” became a long, slow commute, plagued by people with 4WD who refused to test their vehicle’s limits. Almost from the moment we got in the car, I started re-setting expectations.
“This snow is slowing us down a lot. I’m a little worried we won’t make it there with a lot of extra time to do the kids’ activities…”
Grumble, grumble was the reply…
And then for some reason, the last concert we attended came up… I think AP was telling her friend how I messed things up. So Frank and I recounted what a horrible experience it was – one of our family’s worst — laughing about what all went wrong, but with that little laugh-flutter that means you aren’t entirely amused. It was all done in jest… but the kids got quiet for a minute… I wondered if they were recalling how they acted, perhaps feeling some remorse, pre-considering how they might behave today.
As we pulled in the parking garage at Music Hall, with very little time to spare before we needed to find our seats, the second obstacle presented itself. “I don’t have my wallet,” Frank said. “My ticket was in there.” The plan had been for him to meet us there because he had an early morning errand to run, but the timing all worked out and he came with us. But somewhere in there, he misplaced his wallet.
We are never going to make it to the kids’ activities… I felt like Odysseus.
And.. we didn’t make it to the kids activities. As I collected a new copy of the missing ticket, Frank dashed to the ballroom only to find out they stopped doing the kids’ stuff at 10:15. Freakin, fracking, gal-darn it, not again. But full marks for the kids… they rebounded this time much better. I’m sure it wasn’t the brownies I purchased for each of them with the last $3 to my name.
Thus the concert began (“much better seats this time, mom”) and we settled into the quiet yet unsettled murmur that is a classical musical concert aimed at children. The music was great. I once again proved I am the dorkiest mom out there, crying at the wonderful music — Strauss’s ode that blesses 2001 A Space Odyssey; forty kids playing a 10 minute, multi-tempo’d version of Twinkle Twinkle on violins; John William’s Star Wars theme which never fails to take me back to when I was 9 and thought that movie was the best thing I had ever seen. They showed images of the moon landing, footage of Jupiter enhanced by Mozart (wow!) and what the rovers were up to on Mars. Everyone on stage was having fun.
So was I — I had a great time. The kids didn’t cry or pout much at all, so I’m going out on a limb here and saying they had a good enough time. I’m not looking for mother of the year. But I do hope that when I talk about the third and final concert in a few months, my boy will recall how mesmerized he was with the videos of the moon and AP will ask if she can bring a friend again. Success comes in small moments.