Orchestra moms

(from June 28)

The soccer mom is the cliche we know. She plans her day around the activities of her child and is always present in all games. She cheers, even as she knows the moves perfectly because she stakes out during practice, too. She knows her child's friends and she, herself, is friends with those kids' mothers.  She knows the team's schedule, and is always ready with an extra shirt, a pouch of food, a jug of water. For her devotion, the soccer mom is a class all on her own.

What I only learned recently is that the soccer mom has a counterpart in other fields.

This morning Elmo and a few other MSJO kids recorded three songs for airing on DZFE, the (only) classical music station.  Only the kids were allowed inside the radio booth, and we chaperones were directed to the "prayer room" a few steps away as we waited for them. Rehearsals and recording took a little more than an hour.

I had planned on opening my laptop and watching a show, or reading, but the chaperones -- okay, all of them were moms -- were gabbing away quite pleasantly it seemed rude to do as I planned.
I was not sorry I joined in.

It has been nearly a year since Elmo joined the orchestra and since then, through the string of rehearsals, performances and meetings, I have come to get to know some of the other moms (a sprinkling of dads, but just a sprinkle) whose commitment to their children's musical journey equals only, perhaps, the kids' commitment to their own journeys.

I must admit I was not too comfortable around them in the beginning. I felt just a bit guilty that I was not able to be around for Elmo as much as they could be around for their kids.  I also could not keep up with the energy and often found myself clamming up when they started talking. Most of them have known each other for years.

That was before. I guess there is not one way to be a good parent. These moms -- some more indulgent, more animated, more involved, more present, than others -- are just like you and me.


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