Not My Child

I’ve always derived a sort of smug sense of enjoyment when I’ve read on Facebook the accounts of parents whose children come rushing into them the day (or hour) of a concert or a party or an important event, letting them know at that last minute that this oh-so-important event is happening. It’s not that I’m sadistic (much), but I’d smile and shake my head, confident in my own personal scheduling abilities and the effortless way I keep on top of all of my children’s schedules.


So yesterday I’m perusing Facebook, and the mom of one of Tomas’s friends is asking what time students need to be to the concert. I frowned at the post for a moment. Concert? What concert? Could she be talking about some older students? Maybe a high school concert? Must be. I haven’t heard about any concert. Then again, Tomas has been sick the last three days and stayed home from school. Maybe some sort of last minute concert had been thrown together?

I shift into research mode. A bit of Google-fu later, and I discover that this isn’t just some concert. This is THE winter concert for 7th and 8th grade orchestra. The main event.

And I had no idea it was even happening.

I’m still not convinced, so I go down to Tomas, who’s reading on a Kindle, trying to rest up so he can go back to school. “Is there a concert today?” I ask him.

“No,” he said, without even thinking.

“It’s December 1st,” I said. “There’s no orchestra concert?”

The Kindle dropped. The blood drained from his face. “It’s December 1st already?”

That answered that. Thankfully we still had 2 hours before the concert began, and Tomas was feeling well enough to go. Denisa took him (I stayed with the rest of the brood. Sick is running through the family at the moment.) All ended well. And from the sound of it, we weren’t alone in our last minute surprise. A number of other parents just found out about the concert this week.

Still, I can’t help but feel like I brought this upon myself. It’s what I get for thinking I’m so awesome when it comes to scheduling. We had a long talk with Tomas about it, and hopefully we’ll avoid a repeat of the experience, but as my kids grow older, I’m discovering more and more how complex their schedules can be, and how inexperienced they are at keeping on top of them.

It’s like Donald Rumsfeld said:

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.

That’s what burns us all, in the end.

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