Rebecca had her 8th grade choral concert last Thursday at a concert combined with the 8th grade band and strings orchestra. The band was on par with what I recall from Katherine's 8th grade days. The chorus was decent too, though of the 5 songs they did only one was holiday related. Isn't that odd for a December performance? We shall not speak of the orchestra. We shall speak of Nicholas's strings when the time comes in 2 weeks, but not of the 8th graders.
Rebecca turned 14. Did you read that? Fourteen. Crazy times we live in. She celebrated at school with brownie bites shared with her friends and apparently they papered her locker with well wishes and candies. Kids sang to her at lunch and tackled her with hugs in the halls. *shhhh* Don't tell the administration as there's a strict prohibition (on paper at least) against signs of affection. Especially between girls and boys, but even between the girls themselves. And siblings. Oh yes, my kids have been yelled at for giving each other hugs as they pass in the halls. My son and my daughter. Seriously.
But that's not going to put a pall on a birthday.
She wore a new dress for a special evening out. Along with three friends (and mom, someone has to drive), Rebecca attended the evening performance of "A Christmas Carol" at Ford's Theater.
I thought we had plenty of time to get there. The girls arrived at our home around 4 p.m. and we had another to pick up in Falls Church. The show didn't start until 7:30 and the drive was only supposed to take 45 minutes. Easy. DC traffic has a way of ruining easy. We made it to the theater at 7 and needed a hasty stop at Cosi for some nourishment before the show. I've never been to a Cosi before but those are some very tasty sandwiches, even eaten on the run.
Ford's Theater is small and while in theory every seat should be a great seat, the last row of the balcony... on the left... isn't the best option. Not only is the stage apron blocked, the overhang above the balcony blocks part of the upper portion of the back of the stage, but there are also columns along the front edge of the balcony to the ceiling which effectively causes blind spots along the stage. Getting the tickets was a little last minute back in November and 5 together had a single option. Did any of that matter? Not really. The show was fun and nothing beats live entertainment.
On the way home we stopped for some frosties at Wendy's, and dropped two of the girls off at their homes. It was then we learned that both girls (on the right) live right near our old house on Princedale Dr. Since we were right there, we showed them our old house. Craziness ensued... Rebecca learned that not only did the girls know who lived in the house, but Rebecca knows him too. He's a friend of hers at school. And he bought the house from us in 2003. How I miss that home!
The next morning we were up bright and early. For not only was the weekend a celebration of Rebecca's 14th birthday, it was her Confirmation as well. Confirmation is the final step in faith formation for Catholics. When babies are baptized, parents and godparents make the promises of faith for the child, to teach them about being a Catholic, guide them in being upright citizens, take them to church, etc. Once kids reach middle school or high school, they are considered old enough to make those promises for themselves. By that age, going to church weekly should be ingrained, they should have passing knowledge of the Church and the Faith, and they should be developing a personal relationship with God. In essence, they should be ready to become adults in the church.
Both my girls have taken their Confirmation seriously. It's a big deal to them and I'm proud of them for their interest at a time when so many kids turn away from God and their faith. It's a hard decision at the age when everything seems to be out to get them. Ah, teenagers. Gotta love them. But it was theirs to make, and while it was a matter of course for our family (Baptism is followed by First Penance is followed by First Communion is followed by Confirmation) I'm proud of them for taking the meaning behind the Sacrament to heart.
After a fabulous lunch at Red Lobster, and yet more gifts and cake, there was a little music. Very little music. My mom doesn't really play the cello (she does play the guitar), and the boys don't play guitar and Rebecca is currently learning guitar, so a "little music" is actually being generous.
You know what? My family is pretty cool. Not always in big things, but in so many little things. They make me smile.