The Family

The Family

Friday, December 14, 2012

Decision Time

We went to a performance of the Alabama Ballet's Nutrcracker at Samford University, in Birmingham, yesterday.

Maybe I should say we went to the first half of the performance and left at intermission. It was a good performance; Jack just didn't care about seeing the second act, and Mattie had been done for a while.

I struggled for a few minutes with the decision to leave. I saw the look one of the attendants gave to some others in the lobby when Jack said he didn't want to go back in. I'm an expert in giving that look, so I have an idea of what she was thinking and what she probably wanted to say as well.

Part of me wanted to prove to her that I wasn't that mom that was just going to let her child walk out on a performance that cost money. The other part of me wanted her to know that I am the kind of mom that lets her child walk out on a performance we've paid for.

I wavered in the lobby and kept asking him if he was sure he was ready to leave. I kept asking my mother-in-law if she was sure it was ok if we left.

I knew what I was supposed to do. I just didn't want that attendant to see me walk out the door.

But walk out the door I did.

I would have loved to have been able to watch the entire performance. But I'm a 34-year-old woman that enjoys musicals. That's part of the main reasons we went. I want my children to experience plays and ballets and maybe even the opera at some point, but know there is a limit of what they can tolerate based on their age.

Going into the performance I figured I'd be lucky to see two minutes of it. Surprisingly, Mattie was mesmerized by the music and dancing for the first 5-10 minutes, but after that she began to holler for puffs and yelled bye-bye to the folks on the stage. I figured it was better to walk into the hall with her.

It was a school-day performance, so it was kids, parents and teachers that filled the auditorium. My mother-in-law assured me there were plenty of other kids that looked like they'd had it as well - some crying and others rolling around on the floor. 

So why am I saying all this? Why couldn't I just leave it at we went to the ballet and it was so great and yada-yada-yada?

I know what's nagging me.

It's that I almost made Jack go back into the performance to prove a point to a total stranger. I almost went against what I knew was best and was about to tell him that it was too bad, that he would just have to sit through the rest of the ballet like everyone else.

That's not the kind of mom I want to be.

Here's to hoping next time a parenting decision has to be made in the presence of others, I won't be debating what to do based on what those around me, most likely people I don't even know, might think. That's a sure-fire way to make the wrong decision every time.

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