December 16, 2005

The Sammy Show

Last night, me, Joe and sock B (now at the toe, thanks for asking) took ourselves (and two crabby teenaged sisters) down to Sam's school for the "Songs from Around the World" concert.


So brilliant, so tremendously talented, so incredible is my youngest child that out of fourteen songs performed last night, my stellar, incomparable daughter figured in eight of them. (This means that we had such a good time last night that Joe didn't even engage in his annual concert pastime of mentally figuring out A) how long the concert will go on, or B) how many more concerts we have to get through before our children all graduate, although...for the sake of anyone wondering, the answer is 19.)

Sam played Spanish songs on the french horn:


Sam performed native dance and song:


Sam expertly executed a Maori Stick game:


Sam sang Allunde in a quartet (accompanied by the choir. Very slick):


Sam was in the front row for the "Hymn to Freedom" ...signing and singing her little heart out:


(Note for the folks who always wonder if my ability to focus when my children perform is completely absent. I deliberately blur the pictures, since I think the decision to post pictures of your kid on the net is a personal one. I don't have the permission of all of those kids, so I blur 'em.)

It was a sparkling evening, and did confirm that while other peoples children seem very nice, my child is the best one. (Just sayin')

Other children's parents however, left a little to be desired. The parents sitting directly behind us while we watched our darling daughter not only talked through all of the performances, they said the most incredible things. A few gems.

Them: This isn't Christmassy! Why are there no Christmas songs?
What I didn't say so I don't wreck my kids night: Read the program. Seriously. What about "Songs from around the world" read as "Christian celebration of Christ"? Just because something happens in December doesn't mean it's about Christmas. (My own life and decent into Christmas knitting notwithstanding.) This is the Toronto Public School Board, not a private Christian school, and the last time I checked this country had a very clear separation of Church and State.
I know that this will come as a shock to you, but your child attends school with some kids who are not Catholic like you, and your government has a responsibility to not play favourites with religion, or to give the Hindu kid your son plays tag with at lunch the impression that his school doesn't think he's not spiritually correct. If you want a Christmas show, I would direct you to the very nice church down the street, suggest you go to the mall, turn on the TV or sing carols with your family. There's lots of Christmas to be had, I promise your kid won't miss it because they didn't make the end of term concert about the holiday.

Them: I don't believe this. Native songs? Japanese songs? Great. This ones African. What does this have to do with Christmas? Why don't these people get their own show?
WIDSSIDWMKN: "These people"? THESE PEOPLE? For starters Dude, those people outnumber you. Watch your step, your racism is showing. In this school of 300 students there are 23 languages spoken. In your kids class there are 13 languages, kids of every possible colour and race and buddy, bad news... they are Hindu, Shinto, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Muslim and a few more that I don't know about. These People? One in five people on the planet is a Muslim, your kid is one of six white children in his class, and I don't think that your religion serves up such an enormous trump card that all of "those people" should have to suck it up at their own child's concert. For a good chunk of the world, my friend, December 25th is 'nuthin but another day of the year, so maybe you aught to pull yourself together, remember you're not the most important guy on the planet, and if it's really important to you that your kid gets to celebrate your religious holiday at school...get him to the Catholic school next door. It's free too.

Them: It's like they don't know the meaning of Christmas!

WIDSSIDWMKN: Are you sure it's them? Last time I checked there was something in the bible about loving everybody the way they are, and all people being equal. You live in a multicultural neighbourhood in a multi-cultural city, and this is the way it works when no one portion of humankind is more valid than the other. I'm not Christian (though I do like your holiday) so I could be wrong about this, but I really think that you might want to think a little about the love, peace and goodwill to all men that's in those songs you want to hear.

Peace out.

Posted by Stephanie at December 16, 2005 5:30 PM