Life is Worth Living

The Agony of Advent

Advent is just around the corner, and you know what that means, right?  You guessed it, piano recitals.

I know it’s the first thing you thought of too because your kid is probably practicing Go Tell It on the Mountain right now.  You’ve heard that song so many times that you have his every mistake memorized.  And you’ve silently made a mental note to delete it from your iTunes playlist for when Christmas does finally arrive.

I used to think that Advent piano recitals, wherein every child plays a Christmas piece, were a bit disordered.  Aren’t we suppose to wait until December 25th to listen to Christmas music?  So, why not have that concert during the Christmas Season?  Everybody’s bored in January anyway.

But I’m older and wiser now.  I know why these recitals are held during Advent.  It’s because Advent is meant to be a Penitential Season, and there is no greater form of penance than sitting through an hour of children slogging through Christmas jingles.

It’s not there that aren’t some really good pieces being played.  Oh, there are.  It’s just that I’ve got to sit through 5 of my own children playing.  FIVE.  So I can’t just sit back and relax after Little Therese pecks out Silent Night.  No, I’ve got to sweat it through 4 more.

Oh, the agony!  My stomach drops with every mistake made.  Perspiration breaks out on my forehead.  My heart races as I sit on the edge of my chair.  It doesn’t even have to be my kid playing the piece, if whomever fumbles a little, I start trembling and biting my nails.  I wonder if it would be an appropriate time to take out my rosary and begin praying on my knees.

By the time the hour is over, I’m weak and exhausted, as I lean back into my chair.  It feels as if I’ve staggered across a marathon finish line and by George I deserve a drink.

Cheers to a Season of Recitals!  Cheers to Perspiration and Sweat!  Three Cheers for Advent!

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P.S.  For those of you who homeschool, there’s a great article from OnePeterFive HERE.