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I am not ready, I admit it.

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.

The Omawari-son

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 wasn’t.

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.

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22 Comments on “I am not ready, I admit it.”

  1. Karen says:

    “How selfhood begins with a walking away,
    And love is proved in the letting go.”

    from Cecil Day Lewis’s “Walking Away”

    Stay strong, Oma, and enjoy the concert. . .

    • omawarisan says:

      Thanks, you’re right. Easy and right dont always match up, but I’ll know when to do the right things

      It was a great show!

      • Karen says:

        It’s hard enough to watch them/let them walk away, but it’s equally hard to lose those routines and habits that we’ve built around them.

        My own “Little Man,” all 6’7″ of him, will graduate from college in just about a month. I thought I was ready, too, until a couple of weeks ago when I stopped by for one of our mother/son dinner dates (Really my way of checking to make sure he has real food. Funyuns don’t count. Cap’n Crunch, while essential, is borderline “real”).

        As I was waiting for him in the parking lot, it suddenly dawned on me that very soon I will have no legitimate reason for visiting the campus that in some way or other has been part of my life since I was eighteen years old.

        It’s emotional watching “Little Man” walk away to becoming “Man,” but I didn’t realize until that night how much I’m going to miss a place that has been like home for so long. I told him what I was thinking and he said in total sincerity, “Yeah, when you figure it mathematically, it’ll be at least 20 years before you have a shot at a grandkid being a freshman.”

        So, there is a bright side.

        • omawarisan says:

          First, I acknowledge your respect for the Cap’n. Though he does not provide all the nourishment one needs, he is a food group. Amen.

          College graduation is unfathomable to me. I know its going to happen,but wow. He’s graduating from UM as well? Thats so cool.

          As far as I’m concerned, we always have a legitimate reason to go back on campus. If I’m within striking distance I go for at least a few minutes.

  2. Amy says:

    I’ve shooed two through high school and am on the verge of watching one graduate from college. And guess what I’m starting to figure out? You’re never ready.

  3. KathiD says:

    You did REAL GOOD with that boy. Well, you and his mother. So you totally deserve to shed some tears of joy, pride, and all the rest.

    I had a terrific neighbor kid who lived next door for a few years before it was time for him to head off to college. He was such a great kid that I knew how much I would miss him, and many times I asked his mom how she was coping. Every time it was, “No problem! I’m glad to get him out the door!” She still had two boys at home and was looking at less laundry and cooking, I think.

    Then she and the family came home from delivering him to college. She said she was doing great until the orientation meeting for parents. That was when she lost it, and cried for HOURS. She wasn’t quite as tough as she thought she was.

    P.S. That was years ago, the boy became a man, and we all stopped crying (eventually).

  4. jammer5 says:

    Boy, wish I had a high school time like that. My dad had to keep burying all the blocks animals I experimented on. I mean, come on, every kids tried to sew the front half of a lab to the back half of a Siamese cat, haven’t they? I never could get the damn thing right. Good thing it hasn’t affected my growth as an adult human being.

    (Just kidding . . . )

  5. wordofabe says:

    Maybe it’s a dad thing? I’m a sap when it comes to that kind of stuff, as is my dad. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, he got up and walked out of a music show I was involved with. My wife asked me what happened and I said, “Was he crying?” and she said yes. He came back in when he had composed himself. And I’m OLLLD! So it doesn’t really go away.

    Speaking of that, I am reading a really good book right now that my dad gave me called My Old Man and the Sea, about a father/son team that sail around Cape Horn in a 25′ sailboat. It’s great.

  6. linlah says:

    Although it’s probably a few years off I’m looking forward to your post when he gets married cause that event in my boys life just about killed me.

  7. omawarisan says:

    No Omawari-son sightings available in this piece…but some positive publicity for last nights show!

    http://news14.com/charlotte-news-104-content/local_news/charlotte/624922/school-bands-play-together-to-raise-money-for-haiti

  8. spencercourt says:

    How about a YouTube video?

  9. queensgirl says:

    I love these posts as much as the funny ones. 🙂

  10. MDB says:

    Oh Lord, How on earth did I end up here? in tears at that. I got your thank you letter, but just figured if I didn’t acknowledge it, it would simply go away. HA! Omarisan, you are amazing….here is yet another glimpse into that secret life I have been kidding you about for the past 4 years. Thanks for sharing “your boy” with me. He is now a “young adult”. You and Mrs. Omawarisan and the rest of the crew have done an awesome job. This is not the first time you guys have reduced me to tears…it was just last week when I watched 4 adults (you the mrs. and those awesome grandparents) get 1 young man ready for a concert…and he was sooo patient, knowing that he was already dressed. He allowed you guys to carry his music to the car after the concert because you thought he would drop it…hahaha! (Again, that understanding to allow you guys just one last hurrah was evident) I am merely the teacher blessed with a love for music…you guys did the hard part, but thanks so much for the thank you. Words can’t express. I think this only happens once every 30 years. Thanks for sharing Omawarisan, Jr. with me! Take care tough guy! Always, MDB

    • omawarisan says:

      You have great taste in kids ma’am, he is a great guy.

      Never mind “take care”, you’ll not be rid of me any time soon…I’m just not holding any more fundraisers 😉


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