COLUMN: The ‘pain’ of doing your part

There are things that “come with the territory,” like fighting city hall, dealing with moles and attending children’s dance recitals.

There are things that, as they say, “come with the territory,” like fighting city hall, dealing with moles, mowing the lawn and attending children’s dance recitals.

The latter, being the grandparent of five girls, is now firmly in my territory. Not that I didn’t attend the occasional display of dance 30 or so years ago, but with my growing flock of grandkids these events are coming up frequently.

Such was the case Friday afternoon, in a darkened theatre in Chilliwack, when I watched 21 “performances” of children ranging in age from two to six.

The presenters/instructors of the show had thoughtfully created a fast-paced event that for a non-appreciator of tiny-tots terpsichore considerably lessened the pain.

And so it took just a little more than an hour for me and a couple of hundred other parents, grandparents and brothers and sisters, to do our dutiful cheering and clapping whenever our own, and all the others, graced the stage.

I must admit, there were humourous moments such as when the really little ones simply stood still staring at the audience, looking for relatives.

And when they really got into their performances and began running all over the place while the rest of the group hopped up and down to the music.

With all the fancy makeup and costumes, actually identifying my granddaughters was a challenge, assisted only by the fact that their names were in the program for that particular dance number.

For all the dutiful attendance of those cheering on their little shining stars, I will say this: it was a wonderful event for the kids.

Every one of them appeared to be enjoying themselves immensely, and I know from my two performers that they were thrilled with the family presence there to watch them.

And that made it all worthwhile, to see the sparkle in their eyes  and the joy on their faces that your support gave them.

The good thing about dance recitals is that they are the culmination of a winter/spring series of lessons.

In other words, this is the finale … I won’t have to attend another for an entire year.

Wouldn’t that be nice in dealings with the city … only having to tackle them once an annum, and only then at your leisure.

Unfortunately, bizarre issues seem to continually emanate from city hall, requiring diligence and defence on the part of the taxpayer.

I’m willing to bet Mayor Banman never expected his first six months of office would be dedicated to dealing with so many areas of disconnect.  But to give him due credit, it’s encouraging to see he is willing to step outside the Ivory Tower to reconcile concerns by participating in town hall meetings in various areas of the community.

These less-formal-than-council-chamber sessions will allow people to express thoughts and concerns relating to their particular area or neighbourhood, and should provide valuable opinion on which to base council decisions that will affect the entire city.

My only suggestion, Mr. Mayor, is that like dance recitals, you hold these meetings once a year.

You and your fellow councillors will gain a better understanding of the concerns of residents and, like the children in the dance show, taxpayers will appreciate your attendance.