Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Concert at the Lyons Den

Tonight was another one of those nights. I left work a few minutes early so I would be home for an important call at 5:30.  I walked in to the typical throngs of little ones looking for an uppie and chattering about their day.  Unfortunately, I promptly dismissed them, ignored their chatter and hid in the bathroom until my call was over at 5:45.  I then reentered the kitchen, kissed them all hello and acted like it was normal to have a mom who is hiding in the bathroom one minute and all love and kisses the next.  My fleeting attention was not lost on them as an unusual evening unfolded.

I had just gotten dinner on the table at 6:00 (gotta love leftover night!) when a few of our neighbors started to filter into the yard.  Then a few more.  "We're here for the concert," they announced.  I had to admit that I had no clue what they were talking about.  Then a few more filtered in.  Then I noticed about ten sippy cups full of water lined up by our back gate and a blue bucket newly and neatly labeled in Liam's handwriting "Money."  I excused myself to go back into the kitchen and ask my five mischievous kids what was brewing.  They erupted into an excited explanation -- "We're having a concert!" "I play drums!" "We made tickets!" "They gave us dollars!" "Gonna sing songs!" "Is dinner over?!"  And so it was that I learned that in the brief window between the last day of school and first day of camp, my five tykes turned into both budding performers and junior extortionists.  

Unsure of how to proceed, I decided that the show must go on.  Dinner could wait.  None of us wanted to disappoint the gathering crowd, each of whom had apparently paid a dollar and was now holding a sippy cup of water.  One of them was wise enough to remark to another "You might not want to drink this, I think it might have come from the hose earlier today."  As Ciara circulated and made sure everyone had "refreshments", Liam was collecting more money while the triplets tottered to and fro.  With an authoritative bang on a pre-school sized drum, the "concert" began -- a cacophony of percussions that included that drum, some maracas, some bells and a good old-fashioned spoon on a Lego box.  It was just the type of "concert" you'd expect from a junior set quintet; it was more noise than music and I was kind of horrified that they had charged folks for the experience.

Don't get me wrong, I would have made them return those dollars even if the performance had been stellar but, I think the kids have a few lessons to learn from their performance art endeavors...

  1. Don't take money from friends and neighbors.
  2. Practice makes perfect.  
  3. Water does not a refreshment make.
  4. A mom that hides in the bathroom instead of saying hello when she gets home from work isn't all bad.
In fact, that very same Mom might let you leave your dinner on the table, chuckle at your concert, and then offer up a stroll to town for ice cream.  All because these days between school and camp and summer days in general are far too fleeting and deserve to be enjoyed.  God only knows what tomorrow will bring but for now, I think I've nipped my petite extortionists in the bud. I'd keep your dollars in your pocket though, just to be sure... 

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