Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Present

Every December, we make a trip to the mountains to visit Little A's favourite city of Pines. We drive up, go straight to the horseback riding area, put him on the back of one, check in to the club next door, then pick him up for dinner.

Evenings mean boots and a rain jacket, and a short walk to the Christmas Village, which features half-hourly generous sprinklings of bubbly suds that do actually resemble snow. There are also song and dance numbers or a Nativity play on the stage, and Little A happily watches these and applauds enthusiastically.

Finally, there is the farm portion of the club, where this year, for the first time, we were able to harvest some strawberries! Uninterested at first, Little A soon got into the task, leaving myself and the Au Pair to do the actual picking, while he examined and took a bite of each strawberry we put in the basket.

This trip seemed to go very quickly, but Big A has made the bookings for 2017, and in a few months, we will be back again. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Meeting the Orchestra

For many years now, perhaps from the time he was in the womb, Little A has had a great love for classical music.

Most recently, he has learnt the sections of the orchestra and all the instruments that comprise it, and has been watching videos of concerts.

Despite all this, he does not feel ready to sit in a proper, dark theatre, and remain in his seat quietly throughout the duration of a show.

Luckily, these days culture can be everywhere. If we lived in a city where buskers abounded (my boy would love Covent Garden and could probably sit there all afternoon) no doubt all of his pocket money would go into their instrument cases. Instead, we search for open rehearsals and sit through sound checks at shopping centers.

Just before Christmas, one of the malls where we have a shop held a series of shows for their 25th anniversary. These musical interludes were open to the public, free of charge.

Little A was thrilled to see the (albeit incomplete) orchestra onstage, and alternately sat and jumped for joy through nearly two hours of music. While the playlist was disappointing, with not a single piece of classical music apart from the opening of Pachelbel's Canon in D which quickly segued into some horrible pop number, he had a grand time.

The holidays will soon be upon us, and he will have three weeks off school, so we will traipse through the city during that time (when I am not drowning in work, that is) in search of more live music. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

First Holy Communion

In a practicing Catholic's life, there are few things more important than receiving the Sacraments. While we have not been regular churchgoers of late, Little A and I say prayers every night, and he likes visiting the chapels at the shopping malls for a bit of quiet.

Despite his challenges, I always hoped my son would be raised in the faith that both my family and Big A's practiced all our lives, so when a few conversations with the school administrator led to the formation of an after-school Catechism class, I was the first parent to sign up.

Throughout the summer and for the entire first semester of this academic year, Little A and about half a dozen of his schoolmates learnt the tenets of the Catholic faith that were needed to attain the next two major Sacraments (after Baptism).

After two lesson days spent at the church preparing for the big event, and plenty of on-the-side training in what I knew would be Little A's biggest challenge - the actual consumption of the Host - it was First Communion Day.

Little A donned his formal wear with minimal fuss, and we were off to the church.

Both sets of grandparents were in proud attendance, and an hour or so later, Little A was a bona fide First Communicant. We couldn't have been prouder, and in his own way, I am sure he too felt the sense of accomplishment.

Since then, he has wanted to go to church (and attend Mass) daily. I take him as often as we are able, and we definitely go on Sundays. While there are always challenges, spending that little bit of time in quiet contemplation, regardless of what one might believe, always makes things seem much less insurmountable.