It was a busy day yesterday for Dani. Very busy. After an early start with pre-school tennis practice and a full day in the classroom(s) he then went down to the beach for one of his after-school activities – surfing. As if that was not enough, he then got home, showered, put on his formal school uniform and returned to school for his part in one of the school’s recitals. Wetsuit to tie and blazer, in the same hour.
Basically the recital – mercifully (for Dani) only a once a year event – was piano playing and singing. A little concert for parents and a chance for the kids to perform in front of a live audience. That in itself can be a daunting prospect for many kids and certainly character building. Mostly kids a similar age to Dani but also some singing high-schoolers. Some of them were pretty good in fact.
There was even a couple of songs from that old musical Oklahoma. Blimey! That brings back memories. When I was Dani’s age in fact, I can still recall that we performed most (if not all) of the songs from that musical in our school choir. It is for that reason that I knew one of the, perhaps, lesser known songs that was sung last night – The Surry with the Fringe on Top. Hardly a song that anyone would know unless they are a fan of old musicals or, like me, had sung it in school themselves. Not on my hit list either by any stretch of the imagination, but I still remember many of the lyrics. Bizarre. Funny too.
By the way: The kid who sang it must have been about 15 years old and did an excellent job. Just like a stage show star.
Little Monkee (sic)
Dani’s part in the recital was playing a well known song on the piano. I’m a Believer; which as far as most people know was hit song for The Monkees back in the 60s. However what some (me included) may not know is that the song was written by Neil Diamond.
He made a mistake about half way through and clearly lost himself for a second or two. It must have felt like minutes to him. But he pulled himself through it and finished the tune. He was not at all pleased with himself – which is a good thing in a way. But I was proud of him. Why wouldn’t I be?
In an effort to console him I said that he just needed to practice more. Not exactly what he wanted to hear though, given so much of his precious time is already taken up…
I was clear however that some of the kids really do practice. A lot! Some of them were incredible.
While I think it’s great that he gets to do all of these things, Dani himself is less than keen. He often moans about having to do some of his activities. What he really wants is to get home sooner after school and sit in front of a screen. Fortunately – for him in the long run (I hope) – he is not getting off that lightly.
I don’t see it as forcing him to do things. And we are far from being pushy parents. I just want him to have as many opportunities as possible, in as many different activities as possible. I certainly never had the same opportunities. The chance to try/learn these (mostly new) things. Geography played a big part in that of course. That, and the fact that a bike and a football (and jumpers for goalposts!) was all that was needed in my day. Oh, that sounds really old eh? (groan).
I am sure he will thank me for it when he is older but that is not the vibe I am currently feeling. It is becoming a bit of a ‘battle of wills’. But guess what? He ‘aint winning this one…