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The Recital

Monday marked the beginning of our Christmas vacation. We homeschool 10 weeks on, 2 weeks off, with the months of June and December off as well. We’re halfway through our homeschool year.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Monday also marked the end of our homeschool co-op of classes. And to celebrate, our group held a Recital, of sorts. A chance for all the children to show off some of the skills that they’ve acquired over the last few months.

The Recital was to take place at 11:15 in the sanctuary of the church that so graciously allows us to take over their facility once a week. Fiddledaddy came with the video camera to capture the festivities. That meant that my job was to wrangle Jensen. Since that didn’t involve anything technical. With buttons.

If I had my head screwed on straight, I would have fled immediately, with Jensen in tow, as soon as Fiddledaddy arrived in the parking lot.

But no. I had grand ideas of sitting with my little family, silently watching my children perform.

Clearly, breastfeeding did indeed relieve me of much needed brain cells.

Almost immediately, Jensen began squawking. And writhing, as though he were in the throws of torture. I thought I’d just leave for a little while to feed him a snack. I left my purse in the sanctuary. The purse that contained my keys and cell phone. In case I wanted to call, say, Fiddledaddy, to tell him to bring me said purse so I could make a break for it. The snack did little to help my young soldier. He squirmed, screamed, and kicked while I held him in the foyer outside of the sanctuary. Have I mentioned lately that he weighs FORTY pounds? Any time I lost my mind and put him down, he made a break for the double glass doors leading into the parking lot. While screaming “HOME momma, HOME.”

So, I wrestled him out in the foyer with the other half dozen moms in a similar situation, but with much lighter children. One mom was in tears she was having such a difficult day. I patted her on the arm and assured her that we’ve all been there. Some of us have been there, and not left.

In the mean time, I pressed my face up to the glass to catch a glimpse of my girls performing. Cailey danced with her Worship Dance class, and Emme showed off her Karate maneuvers with her class. Then came time for the Guitar Class solos. Which both of my girls were participating in.

Suddenly, being out in the foyer wasn’t so bad. I can say that because all semester I had been a teacher’s aide in that class. During rehearsal, the class attempted to play their “Jingle Bells” number all together. But it was such an assault to the senses that it was determined the class members who wanted to play, would perform a solo. And so far, no student could plink plink plink their way through “Jingle Bells” in less than 5 minutes.

I was pretty sure that more than a few ears were bleeding during that performance.

FINALLY, there was enough of a lull, that I thought I could sneak in, undetected, grab my purse, and run away as though I were ablaze.

I tucked Jensen under my sweaty armpit, football style, and made a mad dash down the aisle while all was silent in the Sanctuary, waiting for the next performance to begin. My plan was well executed, until Jensen caught sight of the rest of his family sitting in the pew. He screamed loud enough to rouse the dead. All heads turned toward us as my 2 year old had me pinned to the floor in a desperate struggle to free himself from my grasp. I was breathless, sweating, and very near tears when I grabbed my purse, Jensen, and what was left of my dignity and made like a bat out of a hot place.

Jensen screamed the entire path to the van. But I didn’t care. Escape was imminent. Or was it? We all park our vans in the grass facing the same direction. But my van was dead center. I appeared to be trapped. In my desperation to flee, I decided that if I had to dent a few vehicles to get out, my insurance company would certainly understand. My own little game of bumper cars. And in my mind, I thought of the end of the movie “Grease” where John Travolta and Olivia Newton John got in their car and off it flew into the sunset.

If only life were more like the movies. And I could look like Sandy in those tight black leather pants.

But I digress.

With daring agility, that surprised even me, I was able to maneuver the mommy mobile out of that maze of cars, over a sidewalk, and straight to freedom. With nary a dent. All while Jensen screamed obscenities at the back of my head. Okay, maybe the obscenities were coming from within my head. But still.

It’s just a season, I repeat over and over. Willing myself to believe it. Soon, I’ll be on the other side of this season, wondering what I was complaining about. Wishing my children were small again. But that could mean the onset of senility.

I’m just going to try and enjoy this season of motherhood. The one that I’m in. As I search deeply for the humor in all situations. While thanking God for my many blessings.

And I’ll just keep reminding myself that in all things, it coulda’ been worse. It always coulda’ been worse.

16 Responses to The Recital

  • If you did not live in Armpit, Florida, I would invite you to come over for a playdate to meet Jensen’s long lost brother, Park. Every time you write about him, it is as if you are somehow living my life.

    It is a beautifully glorious, sweaty season we are in together:)

  • I still think my Tanner is Jensens long lost but yet unknown twin. We made it home from church tonight after much wailing and teeth gnashing cause he forgot to kiss his miss bandy bye bye only to discover the child brought home all the balls from the fusball(SP) table. Heaven help me this too will pass….right?

  • DeeDee,

    I loved this post. Enjoy this season in your life. . .it, too, will pass. We always seem to say, “I can’t wait until he’s in kindergarten, I look forward to this, that” but forget to enjoy our children now. I have learned and appreciated every season in my childrens’ life. . .it hasn’t been easy but we made without killing each other! And I miss those days when they were little (I didn’t think I would). My daughter is 19 and is challenging us right now. (She’s moving back home.)But, we are going to go along for the “ride” and know that things will eventually work out.

    I’ll be a grandmother for the first time in April and I can’t wait! (It will be “payback time!”) No, just kidding. 🙂

    Happy December and Happy Holidays from Tennessee, ~Laurie

  • We are halfway finished with school too.

    We actually are starting our second semester. My heart is aching a bittersweet ache as it is my sons Senior year. Oh how time flies.

    You will turn around in 2 weeks, and Jenson will be 12. In another 2 weeks, he too, will be graduating and you will not remember this day at all.

  • Dee,
    My heart goes out to you because my son is so similar. At times I still worry about his sometimes out-of-control behavior and whether he’ll ever become a worthy contributor to society – or at least stay out of jail!! Of course, I’m totally kidding because these boys that are like this (and I’m sure the girls too) tend to have such a sweet streak in them that it brings tears to my eyes.

    Hang in there. Mine is now five and those times are becoming fewer and fewer; at least when he’s not tired, sick or hungry!! You know it gets better and, yes, you will look back and wonder why you felt so crazy all the time because you’ll forget. And the ones you don’t forget, you’ll be able to laugh your head off and share the stories with him – and then he’ll laugh too!!!

  • Oh, I remember those days….

    It will get better, and someday (like when they have girlfriends) these are stories to laugh over, frustrating as they were at the time.

  • I read your posts about Jensen and I think that we may be following down your path with our littlest fella. He’s just one year old and I call him “wild man”. We’re in an incredibly hard phase with him right now and I’m trying to enjoy the ride, all the while wishing I could get off of it, or get on a different one. But we just keep on plugging through.

  • We’ve done our share of wrangling with our 2nd son also (who is 11 now). He was a handful. I remember one snowy Christmas program that my husband offered to take him and our 5 month old baby into the foyer so we could actually capture something besides the screaming toddler in the sound of the video camera (while our 5 year old’s class was singing). He was so awful and loud in the foyer that my husband (even though he didn’t have anyone’s coats and only had a thin blanket for the baby) took him & the baby out to the car (while it was snowing) and strapped the toddler into the car seat for the duration of the program (at least 45 minutes). He was so angry (my dh) by the time we got to the car after the program (probably because the toddler had been screaming non-stop) that I did the disciplining of the naughty willful toddler when we got home. Lucky for the toddler ……

    We have a 2 yr old boy now and I don’t take him to stuff like that. It is worth the money to pay a babysitter or just stay home LOL

  • just be thankful jenson wasn’t first. you might not have had 3.

    he will get better. my boy did and i remember those struggles and screams very well.

  • Oh, I hear you sister! I have never wanted any of my first three children to grow up, but my current 2 year-old is a totally different story. I can’t wait to wake up and find that he’s four years old!

  • mine are 19 and 17 right now.The oldest is away much of the year and we miss him like mad. Oh for the happy sound of him screaming his lungs out to the nursery teacher once more, ears bright red and face furious..Sigh!
    We homeschooled ours too (we learned from experience)and never found them the burden that ‘schooled’ kids parents expected we would.

  • ~sigh~ It is a season, to be sure. But I am hoping it isn’t like summer in Texas… long, hot, and goes of forever, with frequent recurrances at the most inoportune times.

    I have 3 that are like Jensen. And the rapidly multiplying gray hairs to show it.

  • Oh man! I so needed this today. Thanks!

  • I love the line about how some of us have been there and never left. I dread piano recitals for this very reason. I think I’ll dread all types of recitals until my youngest is at least 8. Then they’ll have to make room for me with my walker and oxygen tank.

    (Stopping by via Ann Kroeker)

  • Amen, sister!! Sounds like Jenson has lots of company in this world of choosing the wrong places to behave inappropriate. I have one right now, too and can’t wait for him to “outgrow” this phase. Of course, he’s almost 4 and I’m still waiting!

  • This was incredibly funny. But on the serious side, for those of you wrangling your unrulies, have you checked with food additives, dyes, allergies, stuff like that? A friend of mine had a child like that and they have radically changed their diet and continue to see incredible results. It’s like a different child.