After running a quick errand the other day, I came home to find my fourteen year old putting on her choir gear.
“Um, do you have a concert tonight?” I asked.
She looked at me, mirroring my “Oh crap” look. “I told you last week….”
Shoot. I forgot. And to be completely honest, I’d been having a long week at that point and the last thing I wanted to do was sit through a concert.
“Oh, I have a solo in one of the songs!” she piped up. “If you come…”
She babbled on excitedly about things but I had stopped at the word “If…” My girl was giving me an out. So of course, I doubled efforts to be there. I dropped her off, went home, and decided to grab Maura. Maura, who had decided dirt would make a good facial. Five baby wipes and a sundress later, Maura was presentable.
We got there just as the choir was about to start. Knowing Maura’s unpredictability, and not wanting to be that person who clambers through half the audience to get to the free seats, I decided we’d just hang in the foyer. Maura wasn’t too thrilled to be there, but as soon as the choir started singing, she stood still, listening.
Music really does soothe the savage beast.
After the first song, Maura let out a whoop, and I saw her sister’s head peek out from her row with a smile. Maura yelled “Mim!” at her sister, who I could image just rolled her eyes as she smiled. Maura decided now was a good time to stomp about, and I had to remind her that even her feet needed to be quiet, even if the acoustics in the foyer were awesome. The singing started up again, and once again, Maura stood, transfixed by the music.
And so we spent another thing where we stood just on the edge of the action, slightly in the outskirts. Just close enough to enjoy, but just far enough away as to not disturb anyone and make a quick exit if need be.
So much of my life with Maura has been on the edges of things, in foyers and aisle seats and nearest to the exit. Sometimes, it’s because I want to make sure others aren’t disturbed by us. Other times, it’s because it’s the best place for Maura. Most of the time, it’s a compromise – “Maura, if you let me sit through this, we’ll just stay out here so you can actually be happy too and I can actually see what’s going on instead of spending half my time convincing you to be quiet/still.”
We live on the edge, but not in the way the songs go on about. That night, at the choir concert, I stood out there with Maura in the foyer for the sake of her sister, so that Maura didn’t do anything horribly embarrassing. Everyone would know it was her sister since Maura tends to shout for her whenever she sees her beloved big sister. Case in point – when it came time for the soloists, the group of four stepped down to the microphones to start the song. When their part was done, they turned to take their places discreetly…and Maura spotted her sister.
“MIM!” she shouted. And her sister just smiled, as she does when this happens. I’m sure at some point she was all “Oh, that’s just my sister, she does that.”
We may live on the edge of things, but we are not quiet about it.