It was with some bittersweet nostalgia that I attended my kiddo’s spring concert. It wasn’t just any concert, he was also going to be surprised with winning the school music award.
Needless to say I was beaming. My friend and I found two seats just two rows back from where the bands were setting up. In front of me, was a woman who set up a tri-pod to record her son or daughter’s performance. I wondered whether or not to say anything since clearly the tripod was a sight-line nightmare for any parent sitting more than the second row back.
I began to marvel at how far my kiddo had come. How we take for granted our children’s safety and educational interests every day when we send them out the door. I felt a deep gratitude for the teachers that have spent time teaching my child a skill that will remain with him throughout his life.
I also admired all the kids as they filed in, smiling at one another, and generally being civilized. My minded faded back to my middle-school days and all of the in-fighting and mean girl bullying. “Yes,” I thought to myself, perhaps the world is becoming more gentle and tolerant. I was wrong.
The reality is, we send our kids out, and they reflect back our own level of tolerance and respect.
As the young musicians filed in and took their places, the woman in front of me, two over from tri-pod lady, held up her iPad and began filming her wonderful musical prodigy. I must note here that it was not an iPad mini. She held a full-sized iPad up and fanned it around so she could get a panoramic view of the bands and choirs and she didn’t put it down.
My darling child was featured right in the middle of the staged area. He was up front where everyone could see his amazing, inherited good looks and musical talent (clearly from his mother’s side of course). This was his moment to shine. His father was lined up with the other parents who were video-taping, and mindful of being in everyone else’s way.
I tapped the woman’s shoulder in front of me, and asked that she please lower her iPad as no one could see. She glared at me, held it up a bit higher, and carried on. I have to admit that even though I’d like to say I took a deep breath and let it go, that I wanted to rip the offending iPad out of her hands and smack her over the head with it. Not once, but a few times until she got the message.
Her rudeness categorically shifted her in my perception from being a doting parent to being a selfish cow. At the end of the first song, having almost entirely missed my kid’s performance because of said cow’s iPad filming, I tapped her on the shoulder again and this time I told her that no one else could see.
The once ‘selfish cow’, graduated in my mind to the ‘ignorant twat’ category. The entire first row of parents held up iPad’s, virtually screening the audience from any possible sighting of the particular kid they came to see perform.
After my second attempt to have Ms. Photo-Pig consider her rudeness, the cracked, high-pitched voice of a lady in her twighlight years came from one row behind me, “Put down your damn iPad!!”, she hollered. Immediately all iPad’s dropped and I was able to watch the rest of the concert without having to break out my Cassius Clay moves. ‘Cause you know I would have.
Remember that you are always setting an example for your kiddos. I refrained from beating the living daylights out of the Photo Pig, and someone else backed me up when I needed help to work toward the ‘greater good’.
The lesson here my darlings is that we all have children whom we adore. We all want to see them perform, and we all want pictures. There is nothing wrong with snapping your kiddo’s picture afterward. Don’t be a Photo-Pig and ruin it for everyone else.