A very nice co-worker gave us tickets to the Tucson Symphony Orchestra that she wasn’t going to be using. She knows how much we love music, and she very generously handed them over. Because she gave them to us last minute, we couldn’t get a babysitter for our son. He is a rough and tough little guy, and being quiet and still are not his typical m.o. We decided to take him with us anyway, however, and just sit through as much as he could handle. The symphony was playing downtown, so we just figured we’d walk around afterwards and have a little one-on-one fun with him while our daughter was on a sleepover.
There were a handful of other children in the audience surrounding us, but the demographic of most of the symphony-goers is certainly a couple of generations older than even me and my husband. As we were taking our seats, a woman very loudly stated, “Who would take a child that age to the symphony?” She glared with a disapproving scowl, so my husband answered, “Parents who believe in culture.” She didn’t even give our son an opportunity to misbehave. It was an automatic judgement.
So, let me put this question into perspective. Should parents attempt to take their children into grown up situations from time to time? I must tell you all how I feel about this.
I want you all to look at the performers who my children are supposed to look up to as role models today. Let’s see, hmmmmm……you’ve got Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Chris Brown & Rhianna….should I go on? I think you all are probably starting to get my point.
These “role models” are doing drugs, cutting themselves, struggling with eating disorders, have anger management issues, and let their boyfriends beat them to a pulp and still take them back anyways. Their music is over produced and honestly, though catchy, is pretty simple. Most of them don’t even play an instrument or write their own songs.
Seriously…is it so wrong that I want my son to see performers dressed up in formal clothes playing music that they had to learn an instrument and train for years practicing hour after hour until they created something beautiful? No offense scowling lady, I think your question should have been, “Why don’t more parents take their children to the symphony?”
The truth is, my son only made it through one piece. We listened to Wagner’s “Lohengrin” and a little bit of a Mozart piece, too. In the 30 minutes that we were at the symphony though, our son took in more amazing sites and sounds then he would have ever imagined possible than if we would have stayed home.
When we left, the usher followed us out into the lobby trying to problem solve with how we could stay longer. I explained that we never expected to make it through the whole evening and that we were fine leaving. He suggested we talk to a symphony employee pointing her out to us and shooing us along. She was the friendliest person ever and insisted that she issue us tickets to the Sunday performance so my husband and I can try to come back again alone. She said that if we don’t find a sitter and can’t make it this time….no big deal. She just hated seeing music lovers missing out on a concert and thought is was awesome that we would have given the gift of music to our son. Wow! Amazing, huh? At least the symphony employees get it.
So, all….I’m opting for “Lohengrin” over Lohan. I don’t regret taking my son to the symphony one bit. I would do it again in a heartbeat even if we only stay for one piece again. No complaints here…I’m just happy he sees something different and real than the average garbage he’s gets on a day to day basis. Way to go, Tucson Symphony Orchestra. You rock!