This is always the busiest time of year. As school winds down, there are so many things planned. We’ve been in concert/recital mode on and off since mid-April, but the end of May and the beginning of June are always the most rushed.
After the weekend we just had, I’m taking today to just breathe. So instead of posting some of my fiction or writing a scathing takedown of something-or-other, I’m going to play proud mommy for a few minutes. Tune out if you don’t care about kids’ concerts and recitals. If you like that sort of thing, and if you don’t mind a bit of shameless bragging, then keep reading. Warning: You may encounter cuteness. Beware.
We kicked off our marathon weekend with a trip to jazz band competition. My son, who is in fifth grade, plays the saxophone in his school band. He played in the jazz band last year, which was a big deal because it’s a select group. This year, he was invited to play bass keyboard instead of saxophone. This is a great bunch of kids, and they work hard, practicing three days a week. I was amazed at what their teacher had them doing—he had these nine- and ten-year-old kids performing some complex skills. They even used mutes at one point, and were coordinated enough to unmute without breaking stride in the song.
They performed three selections, and this one was by far their best:
They’re the only elementary school, so they compete at the middle school level. We just learned that they placed first in their division. Way to go, kids!
We spent the rest of our weekend in rehearsal and performance for the annual dance recital. Some of you may remember that two years ago, we had to find a new dance studio home when the kids’ former one closed. I’ve said it before, but I’m so glad we made the choice we did. They’ve been very happy here, and I’m grateful to the teachers for their care and instruction. Like with jazz band, one thing I’ve been consistently amazed by is what they can get these young kids to do. My son’s tap class is ages 9-11, and they put on quite a show with their dance this year:
Sadly, there aren’t more students my son’s age taking ballet. The good news is, he had private lessons with his wonderful teacher (who came over from their former studio). He was a little nervous about his first solo, but he made it through. When he was finished, I met him backstage. He rushed at me and shouted, “I did it! I didn’t mess up! I did it!”
Finally, I think one of my favorite moments was seeing my daughter let go and just enjoy herself. She’s never been as sold on dance as my son, though she does say she likes classes and wants to keep going. But there’s a moment when you know that your kid has found a good fit. It’s not about her talent or the skill level of her class; it’s about how free she looked on stage and how much joy I saw reflected in her face.
If you’re interested in the rest of the weekend performances, you can check them out on my YouTube channel (or look at past performances on my other channel; Google weirdly separated my videos by email address).
Here they are in their costumes:
We still have another concert, a mini-concert, an Irish dance recital, a Girl Scout bridging ceremony, and fifth grade graduation to attend. Mercifully, those are more spread out than this past weekend. At least I’ll have time to breathe in between.
How about you? What’s the end of the school year look like in your house?