I bet everyone is really happy to get out of work or school-I know I am! After a long beginning to a pretty good year, I’m grateful for some time to relax, hang out with friends and the fam.
I got out of school just yesterday, and my school’s Christmas concert was Thursday night. It was OK. I guess. All of the younger grades were adorable even though you couldn’t make out what they were singing. My 7th grade class sang “Do You Hear What I Hear.”
Before we sang, we all had to stay in our classrooms. Bo-ring. Well, I guess we all realized that because some boys got on this teacher’s computer (they had permission) and started playing videos. Soon they had an audience of boys and girls alike, all were bored and looking for any form of entertainment. They played the new, different, weird Taylor Swift video. You know, that one “Trouble-something-or-other…”. Lots of people sang along. I did not. Then we watched this video some boy in my class filmed last year, with his older cousins, in two hours, at his grandma’s house.
Then, *gasp*, two girls discovered they were wearing the: Exact. Same. Dress. OMG. The world will end. They are matching. Honestly, I didn’t really see what the big deal was. This wasn’t prom. Or graduation. This was just a Christmas Concert!
I don’t remember the rest, it all sort of blurs together now. I probably hung out with my friends, made several trips to the girls’ room to make sure our lip gloss was still as perfect as it was five minutes ago…we somehow made it out those doors and up those steps until we were in front of that crowd.
It was exactly like what you can imagine a 7th grade class sounding like: everyone self-conscious, boys with their voices craking on both the high and low notes, girls tugging on too-small Christmas dresses they out-grew last year but Mom made them get one last use of, most of us just guessing on lines we barely knew…..in other words, we were great.
Actually, I didn’t even have to sing-I was an “instrumentalist” as my music teacher called it. About twelve of us there were. Some playing the xylophones, others the glockenspiels or drums, but no, not me. I was the bells. By myself. My sole part in the song was to hit two small, brass, up-side-down-bowl-shaped, bells together at planned intervals throughout the song. If I messed up, the whole song would sound weird and off. It was a lot of pressure, even though I seriously doubt some of the boys even knew the name of the song we were singing and they wouldn’t have noticed if I messed up. Anyway before we got on the altar, I was nervous.
“Don’t mess up. Don’t mess up. Don’t mess up.” I told myself over and over again. Unfortunately, I had actually whispered this aloud. Several of my classmates inched away from me. Yes, I thought, it really is great to be accepted for who you are.
Of course, I did mess up. But only once. I hit the little bells, but my finger must have gotten in the way or something because they made no sound. Oops. I must have jinxed it.
The drummers glared at me, and the song went on. We still got lots of applause.
My parenrts said we sounded good.
Whatever we were, I know that was an experience, however perverse, off, strange, and unpleseant, that I will never forget. Maybe I won’t remember the exact details, but, I’ll know, my 7th grade Christmas Concert was something. Something real.