I must confess that when Tommy first came home announcing that he’d signed up for band, I thought there was no way on God’s green earth this was going to last, but he has been faithfully practicing every day for weeks and weeks and the boy who first warbled tentative notes that sounded like a wounded, asthmatic farm animal has now morphed into a confident player who plays beautiful taps from the balcony every night before going to bed.
For the last week he’s been reminding me of the special attire he needed for the concert and by Wednesday we’d reached the next-to-the-last minute so he and I went shopping for his outfit – black pants, white spread-collared shirt (his daddy specified that it not be button-down because “it’s not the 80s anymore”) and a tie of his choosing – and it was all I could do not to have a misty moment outside the dressing room door when I saw my BABY in his first grown up set of clothes.
He dressed a full hour before we needed to leave and he kept walking around the house with his trumpet case because it made him feel like Dad.
And then Dad came home and saw what a mess Mom had made of trying to tie his tie and spent a little time rearranging it.
And to my mother, yes, I should have ironed the shirt.
Though trust me when I say that I wasn’t the only mom who didn’t.
We arrived to a gym FULL of students and parents. There are over 1,200 kids spread out over four tracks in the boys’ middle school and the Winter Concert is the first time that all four tracks are together playing the music for the first time.
Tommy was excited to see and show off all of his friends –
And Craig and I were amused that the band director chose to seat Tommy next to the shortest kid in the class.
The concert started with just a small hitch. As the band was playing the opening number, there arose a hue and cry from the bleachers. Apparently it was a little warm in the upper sections and someone took a dirt dive right in the middle of what I think was Jingle Bells. We had an unscheduled intermission for about fifteen minutes while folks fanned him back to life and we waited for EMS to show.
Though let me tell you, that was a great place to faint because there were about fifteen medical-type moms and dads, some still in scrubs, who left their seats to run over and help him. It was awesome to see.
Each band (6th, 7th, and 8th) did a superb job and I was feeling all sorts of proud of the kids for working so hard. I didn’t think the night could end any better when the band director stood and said that for the final number they were going to play a piece composed by Francis McBeth. I about fell out of my chair because I had the great privilege of knowing Dr. McBeth during my college days at Ouachita. And you know I got all sorts of weepy that my twelve-year-old son was learning and playing the music of one of my college professors and it all turned into a very surreal circle of life moment for me.
I tell ya’, folks, there are days when the dailyness of the things that must be done get a little tedious. The pressing in, the pressing on, the minutia of tasks that seem insignificant, the little details that get lost in the noise. And then there are moments, special ones, like seeing your son in his first tie, the glimpses of the man he wants to be, the fire in his heart for the things he’s passionate about – these are the redeeming experiences that make it all so very worth it.
Have a nice day.