Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Hope I Can Survive Three More
Last night number 4 participated in a fifth grade tradition in our community. He Gathered with over 5,000 other fifth graders in the Marriott center at Provo, Utah to participate in a patriotic singing, dancing extravaganza known as Hope of America. I must confess that seeing 5,000 fifth graders wearing appropriate colored t-shirts to form a giant united states flag in a yellow background is very impressive and I must also confess that patriotic songs with flags waving and flashlights involved makes me cry especially when one of the beautiful bright eyed fifth graders singing is mine.
We woke up to Benjamin singing the lyrics to America Rocks which I will try to get him to sing on camera for me to add later( ohh, aren't you excited a sideways video to look forward to). He was so excited and that made it all worth while. Adorable Hubby was not so excited this is his second year of attending and we have three more years to go. This was my third year of attending and we tried to recall, as we wandered around for 45 minutes trying to find seats, why Adorable hubby had missed last years fun, he came to the conclusion as we forged our way through the crowds that he might have been being a, "Hope of an Ass Hole" I giggled.
To understand why he might be anything less then an encouraging father you must imagine how many family members of varying age and ambulatory prowess are attached to each and every happy valley fifth grader and 500+ other varied dancers and performers. The math goes something like this,
Marriott Center Seats = 22,000 - Fifth Graders + performers (5,500) - Average of 4 family members per performer (22,000) - People in the community who think free + patriotic + Fifth Graders = Fun (250) - People who have never been but were convinced its a 'bucket list' must (192) - VIP's and others who gave a lot of money or might give a lot of money(87) Vendors, harried Marriott Center Staff (352) + random (but cute) guys handing out fliers with a smile (1) - Bored between semester BYU students who can't afford any other entertainment (29) - Campus Security (36) - Ron Paul for President supporters (15) - Bloggers for better writing skills...alright but you get the picture= Way Not Enough Seats.
You've got to get there by 5:30 to even hope for a decent seat that means leaving home at 4:45 because traffic and parking are so bad, oh and it doesn't start until 7:30ish depending on how many random Tai Kwan Do, Dance Studios and Singing Companies they have perform before hand. It's so crowded that families cling to each other desperate to not become separated. Last year it took so long for me to get to the rendezvous point with my fifth Grader that he was in tears. This year we sat in a reserved seating section but far enough to the middle that the Marriott employee who felt it her life mission to kick out the people sitting on the edges then gave up and started seating people in the section, couldn't get our attention. I have a few years to prepare a seating strategy for the next Hope of America wish me luck.
As we were driving to the Marriott center Benjamin looked around at all the traffic and people and said, "Wow It's gonna take like two hours to get home when everyone is trying to leave...I guess you could get up and head out before the last song then we could beat the crowd but since the last song is the best I don't know why anyone would do that". After watching in tears while 5,000 fifth graders sing "I Can Be A Light' in a darkened room with flashlights swaying left to right illuminating themselves as part of a flowing human flag for just an instant as they paused at the top of the arch...well I can honestly say through tears of remembrance I am looking forward to Isaac's performance as the Hope Of America.