Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Salon: Books in busy weekends

This was a dance competition weekend for my daughter, R. I don't know if you've ever been to a dance competition before so I'll draw you a bit of a picture. First, you find out when your child needs to be at the host venue. This means when she (or he, if you have a boy so inclined) not only needs to be there but needs to be ready to go on stage. Typically this runs anywhere from an hour to two ahead of when the venue itself has said your child will go on stage. This weekend that meant that we drove several hours, checked into a hotel and endured the most miserable night of sleep I think I've ever had. Sharing a bed with my tossing, turning, tooth-grinding, hair flipping, bed hog of a child is never fun. Paper-thin hotel walls, outside road traffic, an impossibly loud air conditioner, and some sort of intermittent drilling noise just outside the window (maybe someone else's air conditioner?) didn't improve my sleeplessness. The alarm went off at 6:30 so we could make a 7am call time although I'd been awake since 4:30. We sleepwalked our way to the dressing room and I proceded to plaster my beautiful daughter with more make-up than you find at the local cosmetics counter. Since it was so early, when I went to put her fake eyelashes on, I managed to glue her eyes shut. Not my best show. But finally she was costumed and painted and ready to go so we sat around for more than an hour.

You'd think during this "sitting around waiting time" I would have been able to read, right? Well, not really. The waiting is usually done in the auditorium so that you can show support for the other dancers by watching their solos as well. And it's dark in there. Plus I am still getting to know many of the other parents and I'm not eager to be known as the anti-social mom. Once they know me, I won't care. ;-) So the solo finally rolled around and it wasn't great. R.'s teacher had changed a portion of it just two days prior and so R. forgot the changes, pausing while looking like a deer in headlights on stage. She pulled it together and continued onwards and finished it without a breakdown though so she's clearly more emotionally advanced than her mother is. At her age, I would have been in tears.

After the solo there was a barge-load more waiting time interrupted by lunch and the awards ceremony for the solos. Still no reading accomplished during this time because it was too loud (think nightclub with twee music choices) and dark in the auditorium, too weird to sit in the dressing room amongst half undressed pre-pubescent (and some not so pre) girls with a book in my lap, and too windy to sit outside in the chill sun. Color me enormously bored. So I did what any self respecting book loving mother would do, I dumped my kid on another parent and walked off to search out the famous, local independent bookstore for a good browse. Score! Four books richer, I ambled back to the auditorium feeling at least partially refreshed.

Three costume changes for R.'s group numbers later, it was time to leave. I hadn't read one thing besides a menu all day long and I was exhausted but at least I'd managed to sink into a bookish atmosphere for a brief moment or two. Today isn't looking promising for reading either given the two tennis matches the boys have scheduled, but maybe I can take a book to stroke lovingly or something so I don't suffer complete and total book withdrawal.

I only managed one book journey this past week, eavesdropping on the fight to outlaw polygamy in historic Utah and the search for the truth about a murder in a modern day polygamist sect. All other bookmarks stayed sadly abandonned and stagnant.


  1. I get where you are coming from. With our kids it isn't sports or dance that I have to sit through -- it is band concerts. While I am a music lover, classical music is my least favorite so sitting through hours of it is difficult. I end up tweeting on my phone!

  2. I used to go for many dance events as a performer, but I've never thought of it from my parents' view points. I knew my dad got irritated after a while, but my mom LOVED it, even more than me. She would be ready much before me, all excited and in anticipation. Wow... your post sent me many years back .. why do we grow up so soon!


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