Sunday, December 20, 2009

We Love Dance (Or At least Erin Does)

Last week we packed our stuff for a short trip to the high school for Erin’s dance review. I was stunned to see how many people were attending this event and would guess this event will rival most sports crowds for kids this same age.

We found a place to set up camp (with Ryann and all of her stuff we could almost outfit a Boy Scout Troop) and soon lost Tyrel to his friends sitting on the back row. I have notice he is starting to roam the neighborhoods and school halls in packs of his friends who are all too worried about how their hair looks and what shoes each other is wearing. This type of behavior has now broadened into him thinking he is too cool to sit with his own family at his sister’s dance recital. Oh boy.

The show started soon enough and Erin’s group had the second number on the program. Of this group nobody was having more fun than Erin. She smiled, danced, looked around in the audience, and even directed some of the other dancers where to be and what they needed to be doing. A good time was had by all.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

G-String Waving in the Wind

Tyrel started the school year by filling our home with the sounds of a dying cat as he practiced his violin for 5th Grade orchestra. I will publicly announce I am thankful these noises have, for the most part, gone away. We have graduated to recognizable notes and, at times, a familiar tune.

Orchestra class means a Christmas concert to showcase their skills. Let me set the scene- too many parents and families are packed into an elementary school gymnasium. Of course, each of these parents has important secrets or scoldings that inevitably build to a roaring crescendo.

The orchestra is comprised of typical 5th graders who are trying, and often failing, to look as if they are paying attention; clearly there are too many distractions about for their 5 senses. Don’t let their shirts and ties or dresses sucker you into thinking they will all behave. These kids can tumble, play sports, jump rope, and play kickball better in their Sunday dress than most adults in athletic attire.

Finally, after the temperature in the gymnasium is slightly less than percolating and the clock on the wall shows fifteen minutes late, a school official slays the racket by speaking into the microphone.

Next, the music teacher debunks for all parents the commonly used lies about violin practice that she is certain have been presented to the parents as gospel by their children. This of course includes a demonstration with a violin causing some pregnant pauses in the cadence of verbal information.

Suddenly, during a deafly quiet lull, I hear the sound of a protesting violin after it is dropped to the ground. As a parent I could not have been more proud (ha, ha) when I realize this upstaging was Tyrel.

Tyrel’s expression was priceless.  Red-faced he quickly clamored to collect his music tackle. I was relieved to see Tyrel execute this retrieval flawlessly. Too late though, everyone, orchestra included, took the opportunity to ogle.

Then death. Tyrel and I must have recognized defeat in the same instant. He was, as inconspicuously as possible, giving his violin a post accident inspection. While still standing on the stage, his relief was quickly exterminated by eternal embarrassment. After checking his bridge to assure it was still straight, he looked down the neck only to recognize what he later described as “my g-string waving in the wind.” The stage lights reflected off all the strings and announced Tyrel’s violin now had bed-head.

Then a psychological poke in the eye to accentuate Tyrel’s embarrassment. Not wanting Tyrel to miss out on the performance experience, the orchestra teacher put the entire production into a holding pattern. Tyrel’s battle scarred utensil was snatched from his hands and he was left flailing in the spotlight for an eternity while a replacement instrument was retrieved from another room. I know he died a thousand deaths.

The rest of the performance went along swimmingly but was plain vanilla as far as unplanned interjections.

Several hours later I still have tears of laughter rolling down my face every time I think of Tyrel’s 15 minutes of fame. I’ll lobby the authorities for an additional 15 minute allotment as his first episode snuck up in ambush.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Max Hall, C’mon Man!

I reluctantly admit I didn’t get the watch the Holy War live and in color as I had hoped, but thank goodness for DVR’s. However, Tyrel and I did catch the Utah’s field goal followed by BYU’s subsequent touchdown for the win in real time. Then there were those less-than-dignified and broad stroked comments made by a team leader.

Personally, I remember thinking Hall did his teammates who would not graduate with him this year no favors as his shot across the bow would no doubt fuel an ever raging inferno. This should make for great football and something just less than war. Play on!

Then my 10-year-old son’s observation, “I thought those BYU guys were better sports than that. Is that what you were talking about?”

What was previously an abstract concept now had a real-life example. I am certain Tyrel will not soon forget this expose. My two recent conversations with Tyrel about good sportsmanship in both winning and losing are now cemented for recollection and reference whenever needed.

I attempted to answer Tyrel with some meaningful and believable explanation for the inglorious display of indiscretion, but found myself only sweating and stuttering. I didn’t study for that pop quiz and certainly looked the fool.

Max Hall, c’mon man! This is conduct I would expect from the Detroit Pistons, Terrell Owens, Dennis Rodman, or Ron Artest. The irony of the whole incident is you showed yourself to be the very thing you colored the Utes to be. I can think no more selfish gesture- your teammate’s efforts during the contest are already forgotten. Reap the whirlwind.