By: Jennifer Lonergan
Music is food for the soul. We have all heard this before but, for me, it is absolutely true.
My favorite thing about Christmas time is the music. Denomination does not matter. The melody, the instruments, the sentiment is all I need to get into the holiday spirit. And for a brief time, it was almost lost to me.
Picture it: south shore Massachusetts (said in Sophia’s voice of Golden Girls fame), a stay-at-home mom of four gets invited to hear her niece perform in her school’s winter concert. Besides the obligatory, and much appreciated, two nights out a year for both my birthday and wedding anniversary, this particular night out without kids was a treat.
The High School Concert
I went into the concert without expecting much. At that stage of my life, musicality was limited to children’s programs and songs which, don’t get me wrong, are pretty good! The Backyardigans were definitely a favorite of mine and my husband’s, as well as a favorite among our kids.
Sitting in the auditorium, my mind was on laundry, how the kids were doing, and what was coming up that weekend. Then the students filed in, took their spots on stage, and the music started.
As the first note played, I was struck by how emotional my reaction was. It was as if I was reconnecting with another place and time in my life. Childhood memories of Christmas concerts I had performed in and attended came flooding back. Some memories wonderful, some painful, but both were welcome. The level of talent displayed by these high school students was impressive and I really felt as if I was at a professional concert versus a small school event.
When you are a stay-at-home parent, you often feel isolated. It is just the nature of circumstance which is no one’s fault. To hear this concert band perform reminded me of who I was long ago and yet still am.
One thing I always wanted before I became a parent and one thing that stayed with me through parenthood was my desire for my children to know me. I want my kids to know me not just as mom, but as Jen. I realized my love of music and instruments and live performances was something I was not sharing with them. So when they became old enough to play an instrument in school, they did. This year my youngest became eligible, and now all four play an instrument. Luckily, they each picked something different.
But sharing my love of music didn’t stop there. Any free concert I heard about, we went. My daughter enrolled in a theater school, performed in musicals, and is in the drama program in school. New York trips followed, along with attending local Boston and Providence shows.
Watching my children perform is my absolute favorite thing. We have three different Winter Concerts coming up in two different schools over the next two weeks.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.