Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas in Suburbia

The Boy's school put on its kindergarten holiday concert last Friday.

All six kindergarten classes performed together in the cafetorium, with folding chairs for the parents. TW's parents showed up, too, so all five of us watched TB and his classmates do their thing. Five year olds being five year olds, every song involved at least some choreography. (Inevitably, some of the kids improvised their own choreography. My favorite was the kid who ended every song with 'jazz hands.') I was glad to see that The Dreidle Song was part of the repertoire, as an inclusionary gesture.

I've never seen so much digital technology in one place before. Apparently, when you get the birth certificate, you're also issued a digital camcorder. The front row was wall-to-wall parents holding little gray boxes in front of their faces. I'll have to put in a requisition.

After the concert, the classes (and parents) adjourned to their regular classrooms. We had a brief juice-and-cookies moment before most of the other parents left. Through TW's pull as Room Mom, I was asked to read two stories to the class, which I did.

When they're in the mood, five-year-olds can be the best audience ever. TG joined them in her unofficial role as Class Mascot, sitting front-and-center. She stood up every few seconds, so eventually TW had to restrain her with the old sit-on-Mommy's-lap method. The kids in the class, though, were great – rapt, polite, enthusiastic, and willing to see me off with a spirited “THANK YOU MR. (myname)!” I'm accustomed to the dodge-and-parry of faculty meetings; this was refreshingly different. I'm thinking the juice and cookies had something to do with it. Note to self: order plenty of juice and cookies for next faculty meeting. Also, deliver information in rhyme.

Friday night featured the horse-drawn carriage ride downtown, complete with the halloween posse, TB's girlfriend among them. (TB: “When she kisses me, my face gets all red.” I didn't know she kissed him!) The highlight of the ride, as far as TB was concerned, was when the horse pooped on the road. (“It's steaming!” he observed, delighted and correct.) Post-ride, we all did a stroll down Main Street, during which the kids favored us with their unique dance moves anytime something catchy was piped in. I also may or may not have done my impression of a gorilla to induce smiles at a photo op. I'm not saying I did, and I'm not saying I didn't.

On Saturday, my Mom made the trek from (neighboring state) and we went to see Santa at a pizza brunch. It's the same Santa we've been going to for several years now. He's a sweet man, with a real beard, a deep voice, and a very gentle manner. He and TW say 'hello' when they see each other – he lives nearby – and he remembered TB and TG by name. TG actually spoke to him, which is huge for a two-year-old. (Warming Daddy's heart, she asked for books.) My Mom got her picture taken with Santa by the photographer for the local weekly paper, so I'll be keeping an eye out for that. (Santa afterwards: “I hope Mrs. Claus doesn't see that!”) TG wolfed an astonishing amount of pizza, and we left fed and happy. We passed the local high school choir out caroling, so we stopped and listened, clapping after each song. When the choir moved on, TG yelled plaintively “again?”

The tree is up and decorated, the furnace room is chockablock with holiday booty, TB is acutely attuned to the schedule of Christmas specials on tv, and we've seen Santa. All we need now is a little snow.

Very little. A fast-melting inch would do...