“Consciously Undocumenting” my Children’s Lives

It’s concert season.  That’s when after months of renting a flute or listening to your child bang on drums or sing horribly in the shower….  after months of waking up early and dropping them off for chorus practice 45 minutes before school starts…

You get the reward of sitting through a screechy painfully annoying concert amazing concert highlighting the children’s musical talents!

First was Sam’s holiday concert where he was part of the chorus.  The songs were mostly from other cultures and languages and it was clear that the only time he was actually singing was during Jingle Bells.  It was his first school concert and it was cute and nice, but I wasn’t very impressed.

I took some pictures because I felt guilty.

Since he is clearly not going to be Andrea Boccelli anytime soon, I really don’t care.

At the end of the concert I received an enthusiastic text from a fellow mom, as I was peeling out and headed home.



Was I a Scrooge? More importantly why didn’t I feel it necessary to shower my child with accolades? I guess I just didn’t see any need for rewards because my child stood still on a stage wearing a bow-tie for 20 minutes, lip-synching the words to Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel.

Fast forward, a couple of weeks after the holidays, Michael informs me that his concert is the following day. I spent the next day running around like a lunatic from store to store looking for black pants and a white shirt that would fit him.  Nobody knows why I am never prepared, but for some reason without fail, every year I am scrambling at the last-minute at Walmart or Kohls, or some other dreadful place, purchasing the necessary concert outfit.

Now Michael is a drummer in the 6th grade band but not a singer and not in the orchestra. The concert was slated to be an hour.  I am no dummy.  I figured my child would be banging on a drum for approximately 20 minutes tops which would leave me 40 blissful minutes to do what I enjoy most.

And no…it’s not watching or listening to strange children sing or play the oboe.


I felt a little bit guilty catching up on the Kardashians instead of watching the show.  I looked up every now and then to make sure that no other parents noticed that I was reading a tabloid instead of watching their little cherubs blow into trombones 

to enjoy the musical sounds coming from the strange children.

No parent noticed my tabloid reading because as I looked around I noticed they were all too busy taking pictures and videotaping the concert.

If you didn’t know any better and you looked around the auditorium and saw a sea of people holding up their iPhones taking pictures and videos – you would think we were at a Bruce Springsteen or Justin Beiber concert.


I am sorry to say – these school concerts….

They aren’t that good.

Do we need to document them and save them forevermore?  I think just attending and being in the moment is enough.

One woman near me actually had a tripod set up in the aisle – videotaping the entire production!

I had taken a short video earlier when Michael was singing with the chorus, mostly out of obligation.  If I am being completely honest, here’s what will happen with that little “music video.”

I won’t watch it even once.

Michael won’t ask to watch it.

Mr. Gaga – who missed the concert due to a work meeting – won’t ask to see a video.

Weeks later when I am desperately trying to take a very important selfie of myself driving     picture of a magazine article of the best new bronzers   picture of the kids on the ski slopes! my stupid asshole iPhone will tell me I don’t have enough storage.  I will then frantically try to delete pictures while the children pose and yell at me to “hurry up!” I will see the concert video in my feed and knowing it is a clear “waste of space” I will press delete.

Am I supposed to be saving these moments in my children’s lives?  Is every little thing they do supposed to be documented?

During the preschool and kindergarten years, I was more apt to take a picture or video, but as the kids get older, I just don’t find it necessary.  At what point in their lives do we just enjoy the moment and not preserve it in picture and video form?

If I think about my childhood – I recall that I participated in soccer and tennis my entire life.  I did ballet from an early age until middle school, and was “en pointe” when I retired, which is basically almost at Black Swan status.  I played the piano from age 5 or 6 until college.  I was in several science fairs, debate clubs, I skied, and I went to summer camps and was in several talent shows.

There’s little to no documentation to prove that I did any of that.  I found one picture from a ballet recital.


In my parents’ defense the technology wasn’t great in 1985, but I am certain that I am the third one to the left. But more importantly, I remember every sequin of that outfit. I loved it – I remember the feel of the light blue satin between my fingers. I remember being backstage with my mother bobby-pinning the taffeta head-piece into my hair.

Other than this fuzzy photo, all my parents and I have are our brains and memories to tell us that it all happened.

I am no longer a ballerina. We are all totally fine and happy.

Hopefully my children will be too.

Because I still haven’t figured out that fucking cloud.



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