Fredericksburg Parent

April 2015

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38 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • April 2015 family chatter E ntering the middle school auditorium to attend my daughter's first band con- cert, I felt dread. The bleats and honks coming from Laura's clarinet recently had not been encouraging. I was sure the next 45 minutes would be painful. Maybe I should have paused before I judged, and remem- bered the many times I've been wrong about what I will and won't enjoy about motherhood. For example, I was once sure I'd love doing crafts with my toddler, exploring parks with my preschooler, reading stories out loud and cooking nutritious dinners for an appreciative fam- ily. Conversely, I was positive I would hate organized sports where parents had to sit on the sidelines and feign interest in what the kids were doing. A few weeks into motherhood, as I paced the house on another broiling summer day, holding squalling baby Laura, I thought, "This is awful! There are no sto- ries! It's too hot to go outside! Was I wrong about...everything?" Not everything. But almost. BY MARY BECELIA CRAFTS? Please! I wasn't crafty before kids, why did I think some creative gene would appear once I had them? STORIES? When I picked it was sweet. When they chose the same oh-please-not-again Maisy or Dr. Seuss book for the 300th time…it became torture. DINNERS? The fact that I only like to eat about 10 items and can only cook about five meals means, I'm a boring and unoriginal cook. No one enjoys my meager culinary efforts. SPORTS? I was wrong about sports. I love cheering my kids on! THE PARKS? I was right for once! But overall, I should know bet- ter than to believe I possess any sort of radar concerning what I'll enjoy as a mother. Back to the concert. There I was, dreading what was coming: pim- ply, awkward middle schoolers painfully squawking through an uniden- tifiable repertoire. Then the lights dimmed and the curtain rose; I heard recognizable music. I sat up straighter. Oh, wait. This was the 7th and 8th grade band. They had some skill. Laura was in 6th grade, so their part came next. T hose ugly-duckling sixth graders had undeniable grace. They were dressed up! You couldn't see their acne and they weren't a bit awkward as they played. They were...beautiful. And the music was good! They were doing this thing and doing a fine job! I don't usually like being wrong. But I've never been happier to be wrong than I was at the middle school band performance. Mary Becelia lives with her family in southern Stafford. The kids are quite modest and neither has exhibited any desire to join a nudist colony, despite their mother's early example! family chatter Mother (Doesn't Always) Know Best

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