I am not ready, I admit it.Posted: April 22, 2010
I’ve written of my friend, Madam Director of Bands (MDB), before. She has been The Omawari-son’s high school band director for four years. I spend a lot of time volunteering with the band and she’s come to know my family and I very well. We’re better for having known her.
One of the things she has teased me a lot about this year, as we go through my son’s senior year, is that I am apparently more emotional than I realize.
I tend to think of myself as emotionally tough, and I’m right. MDB has picked up on that I am completely the opposite of that where the Omawari-son is concerned. She told me at the beginning of this school year “I am not looking at you at graduation, you are going to be a wreck.” I knew she was right, but tried to deny it. “No” she said, “you are going to be a mess. There is no question” We laughed about it and I tried to put it at the back of my mind.
Marching season went on. When you have a musician, fall is marching band season. Football is The Band’s opening act.
The band charged through halftime shows, parades and competitions. When we reached the last competition of the year, the last conversation MDB and I had before the band took the field ended with “last show, dad, are you ready?” I knew she was playing the emotional joke again. I told her I was ready.
I’d spent the last four years on the field when the band marched. I’d never seen the show from the stands. At the last minute, all the parents of the seniors were directed up into the stands, the “underclassmen” parents handled the work on the field.
The band came on and they were on fire. They hit their marks. They hit the difficult notes that they’d missed all year, in the last show my son and his class would perform together. I was teary through the whole thing. The kids were awarded a pile of trophies at that competition. When the award ceremony was over, The Omawari-son picked up one of the trophies and held it over his head for the rest of the band to see.
I wasn’t ready for any of that day. She was right.
Tonight is a special concert being put on by the school’s Jazz band. Harmony for Haiti is a fundraiser to raise a few dollars to help Haiti put itself back together after the recent earthquake. I called Madam Director of Bands yesterday, she and I typically kick around some band related topic by phone every day. Yesterday we kicked around the Haiti concert, figured we’d covered our bases and hung up. She called me back a few moments later.
In a teasing tone she told me that The Omawari-son has at least three solos in tonight’s concert. “We’re in the home stretch of his senior year, I thought I ought to give you a chance to get yourself ready.” I said I was ready.
I’m not ready.
He will stand for a solo tonight and I will have to bear down with everything I’ve got to keep it together. I’m really proud of who The Omawari-son is and his devotion to everything he does, including music.
Sometimes, I need to have someone else point out what I already know. I’m glad she did. Now it isn’t a secret.
It’s OK that I’m not ready.