Last night was Ava’s school Christmas Concert. This is the story of our night.
At breakfast I ask Jeff, “Hey, did you know you have a 3:30 appointment today? Why did you schedule something for 3:30?! We’re supposed to go out to eat before Ava’s Christmas concert. I want to leave for the restaurant by 4:30 so we are for sure to the church by 6:15. How is that going to work?”
Deer in the headlights. “Ummm, I guess I forgot we had talked about that. Well, it should be a short appointment, maybe I can just meet you at the restaurant?” This, in my mind, is translated to “I won’t be here to help you get everyone ready and out the door… good luck.” Awesome.
The afternoon rolls around. Because I feel like some things should be celebrated and dressed up for, and because Ava is supposed to wear her “dressy best”, I’ve decided we are all getting spiffed up tonight. Oakley and Obed have new matching outfits that will compliment Ava’s dress. I’m going to actually fix my hair, Jeff is going to wear a tie. We are going all out tonight. However, going all out takes time! You can’t just blow dry and roller brush your hair in 2 minutes and now I’m running slightly behind schedule. Two little boys need their shirts buttoned, Ava needs her hair braided and straightened. Too late for the straightener, there’s no time. We finally run out of the house at 4:43. At least everyone is in their dressy best and Jeff has called to say he will get us a table and put in our order.
I make it to the end of the alley, “Dang it! I forgot the camera!” Too late, there isn’t time to go back to get it. I’m pretty disappointed about this as I had really wanted a picture of all the matching cuteness before it unraveled.
Two blocks down the street, “Dang it! I forgot to turn off the straightener!” This one requires a quick prayer that our house will still be standing when we return tonight.
We arrive at Grizzly’s downtown. Parking is tricky downtown… there’s not much of it. I pull into the lot next to the restaurant and am delighted to find front row parking. As I’m hustling everyone out of the van and towards the restaurant door, I notice the huge sign “NO GRIZZLY’S PARKING.” Dang it! I would have risked it had there not been a parking attendant standing right there watching me. I deposit the children inside and run back out to move the van.
Van parking is secured three blocks away. As I’m bundling up for the walk back to the restaurant, I notice one of my gloves is missing. Dang it! I’m forever losing gloves! I seriously need them attached to a string that runs through my jacket arms. It’s ridiculous.
As I approach the restaurant, I decide to check the parking lot for my missing glove, just in case. Sure enough, there in my previous parking space is my now wet, muddy, and run-over glove. I pick it up, shake it off best I can and continue inside, mostly happy to have recovered the missing mitt.
I finally make it inside to find my little family happy waiting for our food to arrive. “Hey, where’s your tie??” I ask Jeff. “I forgot it in the car. I’ll put it on before we go into the concert.” Dinner proceeds with record speed and at 5:52 we are about ready to walk out the door. Perfect amount of time to get Ava to the church by the required 6:15. However, as I lift Obed out of the high chair, I get a whiff of his diaper. “Oh Buddy, come on now!” After weeks of not having a poopy diaper past 2pm, today is the evening he decides to fill his pants. Great. Off to the bathroom we rush to change said dirty diaper.
Finally we are hustling down the street to the van. Obed weighs about 30lbs in his car seat and it’s a bit of a work out to lug him around in that thing. We make it to the van, everyone gets buckled in and Jeff says he’ll meet us at the church. He’s only in a two-hour parking spot.
I pull into the church parking lot at 6:20. It appears everyone and their Grandma has decided to be ON TIME for the elementary Christmas concert because the parking lot is a sea of parked cars. I circle around and find ONE open spot. It is unfortunate that I may very well be the world’s worst parker and this spot is a mite bit smaller than average. I attempt my first pull in. Nope. Reverse, re approach. Nope. Reverse, re approach. Nope. Reverse, re approach. At this point it may be worth a mention that I have absolutely no idea as to what I’m doing or how I’m going to get our huge mini van into this parking spot. I debate attempting to turn around and find a different parking location but that would require me pulling into this parking spot. Dang it! GOD HELP ME!
It’s at this moment I hear a knock on the window. I turn in shame to see just who has been watching my pathetic parking attempts. What luck! It’s Jeff!
“I can’t park the van!!” I practically wail to him the obvious.
“Get out and take Ava inside. I’ll park.”
I more than gladly surrender the parking debacle to him and the mess I’ve made of trying to get the van into this minuscule space. Ava and I rush inside. She’s in place before 6:30, which is the program start time, so I’m calling this mostly a success.
However, because everyone and their Grandma seems to have arrived by 5:45, I could only find seating towards the back. This was a bummer. What is also a bummer is everyone wanting to film every second of life on their cell phones. At this moment I’m glad I’ve forgotten the camera. Put the phones away people! The true view is better.
Jeff, Oakley, and Obed finally make it inside after apparently succeeding at parking the monster van. “Hey, you forgot to put on your tie.” Bummer.
Kindergarten through 2nd grade perform first. Three songs. Everyone is so pleased.
3rd through 5th grades perform next. There is a lovely rendition of ‘Carol of the Bells’ by the 4th grade and their recorders. Then it’s announced that 5th grade will now demonstrate their guitar skills with Jingle Bells. As the students retrieve their guitars, there is a loud crash. The music teacher assures that it’s fine, that happens all the time. However, one 5th grade boy turns around with a pretty forlorn look on his face and a guitar who’s handle is now in two pieces. The obvious question on his face is “How am I going to play this???”
Jeff and I about died laughing. Jingle Bells commences. I’m not sure what I was expecting… perhaps mini guitar heroes… but 5th grade guitar players pretty much just pluck out Jingle Bells. Second time around, the audience is encouraged to sing along and Broken Guitar Boy has talked another boy into giving him his guitar. He is now happily plucking out Jingle Bells to his heart’s content.
And then the evening came to a close. Ava’s first Christmas Concert is in the books.
Heading to the van to drive home, I notice Jeff has some how managed to park the van by BACKING INTO the tiny parking space. Nice and tidy and straight. What the heck. I hate parking.
Driving home I remember the hair straightener and I’m practically expecting sirens and fire trucks to greet us at home, but thankfully it is not so. Our house did not burn down due to a forgotten hair straightener. A great end the the evening.