What not to do at your child's end-of-school-year concert

Just a reminder for parents attending their child's end-of-the-school-year recitals, performances, and concerts. Sit in the room and be present right as it happens.

Glennon Doyle Melton
Glennon Doyle Melton shares an image of her obstructed view of her daughters end-of-year concert at school.

There were 150 kids at the concert today – but I could only see a few of them. This was my view most of the morning [picture above]. 

Please don’t do this. There is no stadium seating in school cafeterias. And so when you do this – when you sit in a chair and  hold your device above your head for the entire performance – you are blocking the view of many, many parents behind you.

What you are saying to every parent behind you when you do this is:

"My right to see and record my kid is more important than your right to see your kid at all."

What you are saying is:

"My later us more important than your right now."

We can’t have it all at these end-of-the-year concerts and plays –  but we can each have one important thing. If we are each respectful – we can each see the kids perform. That can happen. Unless you decide that this one important thing is not enough for you because you want THREE THINGS: 1. To see your kid perform 2. To record the entire event and 3. To remain sitting comfortably in the audience.

I just don’t think you can have all three of those things without stealing part of the experience from everyone behind you.

I know you love your kid, but the thing to remember is that everyone in that audience loves their kid exactly as much as you love yours.

Listen – this goes deep - I know. I know this is all so hard. They are growing up. It’s awful, really – this time of year when all of our hearts break open because another year is ending and those babies we used to hold in our arms are growing relentlessly and time is flying by and we just want to grab today and hold it tight and keep everything exactly as it is forever. We want the power to freeze time and we get these devices and we think they are the answer. But they aren’t. You can’t freeze time. Not even with that device.

What’s happening is that you are not stopping time – you’re missing it. You’re missing them NOW. Look at them. Feel it all. BE HERE WITH US. Take some pictures, record special moments, sure – but also trust that you don’t need to freeze every moment of today’s bruty because tomorrow will have its share as well. These little people are still going to be excruciatingly brutiful tomorrow. They will be a different kind of beautiful, sure – but beautiful nonetheless. And that’s why you HAVE TO BE HERE NOW because today’s beauty –  how they are TODAY – will never happen again. And the only way to MISS them growing up is to be so busy saving today for tomorrow that you don’t sink into TODAY AT ALL.

I  know you don’t want to miss a thing – and nobody behind you wants to miss a thing either. We came to see TODAY’S BEAUTY. So just be here with us today. Remember the rest of us –  behind you – doing the best we can to honor time and love our babies and watch them grow up and away with just a teeny little seedling of grace.

We’re in this together.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best family and parenting bloggers out there. Our contributing and guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor, and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. Glennon Doyle Melton blogs at momastery.com/blog.

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