Friday, June 10, 2011

The View From The Back Row

It’s a very busy time of year for moms. We’re wrapping up all of the school year activities and starting up all of the summer ones. I heard the other day that a good writer says all of the things that people feel, but don’t want to admit out loud. Maybe I’ll do that for someone today.
Admission: I wish I didn’t feel that I “had” to involve my kids in so many things. We run around frantic, we sacrifice for time together, and we spend a small FORTUNE and I’m not sure it’s doing any of us any good, but I don’t dare stop for fear my kids will get left behind. The bottom line is we have to do what we can to make sure our kids challenge themselves and become the best they can be… and we’re just doing the best we can at that.
My girls had a dance recital recently. Here’s something not many people admit: anything dance related is intimidating. You hear the horror stories of the fake-ified girls (yes, inventing more words now), of the compet-ified moms, and you feel that you’d better get your bum blinged out if you want to take it wiggling anywhere near the premises.
I had gotten myself psyched up for the whole affair. I had been watching the way the compet-ified moms operated. They drop their girls off early for the rehearsal and they save their seats. If you aren’t smart enough to figure this out, the joke is on you. You arrive ten minutes early, thinking you are totally ahead of the game, and you walk in to an auditorium filled with jackets.
I acquired this knowledge, but I still had one handicap. Two handicaps actually. One is five years old and one is three. They are little boys with messy hair and messy faces and a tendency to remove their clothing when I’m not looking.
We got the girls all glamified and sparklified, and I’ll willingly admit I do enjoy that,
and then we hustled the disheveled, but hey at least they're dressed, boys into the mini-van and we headed out. We made one u-turn about two blocks into our venture when something important had been forgotten.
We arrived, out of breath, but still coursing with adrenaline from the compet-ification. I had four jackets in hand, one for each seat we needed. One hundred tugs at the boys arms, one hundred times saying, “Shhh… just run buddy…” and I had made it from the parking lot to the front entrance. I directed the girls where they needed to be, while keeping my eyes glued to that auditorium door. My hand finally wrapped around the brushed brass of the handle, other moms were looking on, the boys were in tow, but all I could see was four prime seats with our family jackets atop them.
The door only moved half a millimeter and met with a “thunk”. Locked. I turned to one of the smug, compet-ified, successful moms. “Are all of the doors locked?” I asked.
“They are,” she said with what I perceived to be superiority, disguised as sympathy.
“You already have your seats saved in there, don’t you?” I asked.
She defensively explained that she did, because she had gotten there earlier.
I hung my head low and wiggled my non-blinged out and unsuccessful bum back out to the mini-van. I buckled the boys in and started to drive. Now was the moment where I might have started to cry. All of the effort, all of the hustle, I was sweating for crying out loud and I had to do the walk of shame back to the parking lot with my four jackets still over my arm.
Only I didn’t start to cry. I took a mental step back. I called Ryan Edward who was working right up until the starting time of the recital and was planning on meeting me there a little late.
“Baby,” I said when he answered his cell, “I put up a good fight today, but dancing won. Here’s the new plan…”
I went home and I packed two pairs of binoculars. I cleaned myself and the boys up. I stopped at Macey’s and filled my purse with snacks and treats. I picked Ryan up at his work and we had the most wonderful, leisurely drive to the recital. We walked in late. We sat on the very back row, far right. Our boys were loud and it didn’t matter at all. The binoculars were amazing! I could see the dancers better than I ever had. We took the boys out several times for bathroom breaks or just… “holy cow, I’m a little boy at a 3 hour long dance recital” breaks. Ryan and I whispered and texted and ate our treats and had a lovely date. It didn’t matter at all that my non-blinged out bum was sitting in the seat known as the worst seat in the house. To me- it was the BEST seat.
Try your hardest. Teach your kids to work for what they want. Be a strong Mom who does all that you can, priorities kept firmly in place, for your kids. But when you put up a good fight, and the world wins, relax. The view from the back row really isn’t all that bad. You just might like it.


Candace said...

I really needed to hear that today!!! Your amazing and it truly did make me feel like I'm not alone in this rat race of running kids from one thing to the next. It seems like the world wins with me most of the time when I get somewhere late and my 4 year old has on a pair of his 10 year old brothers shoes because I forgot to look down before we left the house! :) I usually cry when I get home from being so overwhelmed and feeling like I fell flat on my face but from now on I will remember the view from the back row can definitely be the best! Thank you!!!!

Ryan said...

Amie, you are hilarious. I laughed 3, count them 3 times while reading this. I will sit by you in the back seat any time, by the way.