Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas carols and all that schmaltz

Aaaaah!I went to the younger son's Christmas Carol concert today - they were brilliant, well, nearly all of them - one class did absolutely murder Oiche Chuin - but they thought they were deadly so that was what mattered. I invariably well up at these events, despite telling myself year after year that it's all a load of marketing sh***, a symbol of cynical marketing and the global giants (like the Catholic Church) making lolly etc.
But I can't help it, I'm female, middle-aged, human. I love the sound of children's voices. One of the greatest pleasures in my life since I went part-time in the paid job is that as I turn the key into my house at 1pm every day I can hear the clamour of 900 kids from the various yards in the local primary school. As an adult and parent there is nothing as satisfying, as joyous. And then I remembered how frightening that noise was when I was one of the 900, actually in Mother of Divine Grace in Ballygall there were almost 1,500 NS girls in classes of 40-50 in the 60's-70's - I was more scared of the other little rips than the teachers!
My baby played Santa in his class's performance of 'Jolly Holly' - they were fantastic and then they followed up with a lovely rendition of 'The Holly and The Ivy'. He went a bit astray as he tried to put on his red Santa jacket and couldn't find the left sleeve easily and I was in the audience dying for him - but it didn't phase him - he kept his cool, said his lines and sorted out Santa's jacket when he could. In the vernacular of the day - OMG! - I'm so proud of him, and - if truth be told of - myself and the significant other. This was a kid who was terrified of his own shadow, everything bothered him - dogs, cats, insects, birds, other people. He's this really great bright kid ,a reader, a sportsman, a musician and sensitive and all that , but me and Jemser helped him be this sociable likeable little character. One of the neighbours - a man in his seventies said,
'You could go for a pint with that fella, he has something to say about everything and he's great company.'
So what's the best part of Christmas folks? The same thing that's the best part of every day - and the hardest - family. Shi***. It still sounds Peggy Mithchell or Pauline Fowler - them women have done more to bring the concept of family into disrepute than the slogan 'the family that prays together stays together'. Hug your babies folks - Carpe Diem.

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