The night our first grader decided we should go to a concert

As Daniel and I walked into Leo’s after-school program to pick him up, I could hear a band warming up in the next room. I just wanted to find Leo and his backpack and get home.

“Mama,” he said, “there’s a concert tonight at school, and I want to go.”


“We saw it today and it’s so funny. They say something about underwear and then this boy talks about fish. And the band plays Spider-Man and it sounds like the Spider-Man song!”

My son was asking to go to a concert? My son? And he really, really wanted to go? I spotted a mom I knew and asked her what time it started.

We had about 20 minutes.

John was working late, so the boys and I were on our own. I had planned on a fairly quiet evening at home, but we could just barely pull this concert off. Maybe.

“OK,” I said. “We can go. We will have to run and get dinner very fast and you will have to eat in the car. Then we will go to the concert. We will have to sit still and not make too much noise and then we will go home at the end.”

Leo agreed to everything. Daniel was a little less enthusiastic—he wanted to go home to see his caterpillars, which were coming in today’s mail—but the concert was a one-night feature. Besides, it was educational. And it’s good to be spontaneous once in a while.

Minutes later we had all downed dinner and were walking through the school door. We found seats and the performance began. It was everything Leo had said it would be. He and his little brother were riveted through the band performance. Then the spring musical started and Leo laughed and laughed and laughed at the funny lines.

Even with all the proud parents and grandparents who were there, the actors could not have had a more appreciative member of the audience.

Daniel started getting wriggly and impatient toward the end, and I may or may not have bribed him by promising him he could have a sugar cube at home.

“Fifty-five sugar cubes,” he whispered.

That might have been the funniest line of the night—well, except for that joke about the fish.

I’m so glad Leo wanted to change our plans.

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.