It was the school’s Easter concert tonight, my favourite of the year. Bittersweet, as ever, though, as I watched the other parents wander in two by two and sit and wave at their children. There’s no place where I feel more like a single parent than on a shiny wooden pew at a school do. I know this is illusory – there were plenty of daddies, and mummies, who sidled in late, and plenty of partners outside in the graveyard having tense conversations on their mobiles, and I even went with my own mother. But there we are – I felt what I felt.
Even when I was married, we rarely made it to concerts together, as Mr X travelled so much for his work. But somehow, knowing that I am nostalgic for something that never existed doesn’t make the longing any less keen. I still like Norman Rockwell’s pictures even though I’ve never sat down to one of those huge family dinners.
The concert, though, was transcendent. The church itself is beautiful – there was some debate over whether the interior is Pugin, or Pugin revival, or just Pugin inspired, but it is gorgeous. The accoustics, too, are amazing, and the girls’ sweet voices soared to fill every corner. The bill of fare was a little mixed – Chatanooga Choo Choo was in there, along with a fantastic Gloria and a melancholy Scottish air. This was, of course, my favourite – though I did keep hearing the line, ‘he stole my rose and left me only with a thorn,’ and wonder if it was entirely suitable for our precious daughters to be singing.
A lovely, if poignant, evening – a rose with a thorn, I suppose.