Last night I had the pleasure of listening to the high school and middle school band play. We gathered into a crowded auditorium for the Spring concert. Where hormones were raging, babies were crying, and parents watched the stage with a mix of joy, and anxious frustration.
My son is a percussionist. He plays the drums. I am not bragging, but I think he plays good.
Because he is impulsive and always has to be moving, (A.D.D.) he makes a great drummer. Though he did not win an award on our band trip last year, I thought he did an excellent job.
If we had different judges, he may have won. He said he may have missed one beat the entire time. Cut the kid a break. He was awesome! (A mother can be bias.)
His favorite thing to play is the trap set. What is a trap set you might wonder? It’s okay. I did, too. A trap set is the really big set of drums you have to sit down to play.
All the kids love to play them, and almost fight over them.
I am not a percussionist. I am clueless between them. The ones I know– cowbell and triangle. Bongos? I could rock those!
When we arrived one of the “PTA Yentas” had no idea we would be there. Her son also plays drums, and is a year below my son.
[Yenta-a woman who is a gossip or busybody.]
When I went to say hello before I could open my mouth I received–“Oh, you aren’t supposed to be here!?!”
“Huh? Well it’s nice to see you too!” I thought to myself. “And you were one of the nicer ones! Guess I was wrong!”
She was super chatty with me last week helping with the book fair. Telling me about drum lessons, and the band trip.
Apparently, my son told her son we weren’t coming. Because of this confusion, her son would cover his parts. Thus, playing the trap set.
She hoped he would share his music. Because her son didn’t have any? That left me clueless.
One– Why wouldn’t they have enough music? Two– Why wouldn’t he share? Three– Why cranky with me?? Geez.
In our band, they have “section leaders” telling them what to do. Who plays what. It isn’t a fair deal with who plays what part, and the band director doesn’t get involved. He lets them handle it.
The children in the band the longest have seniority. They know more. So they have less sucky parts.
They don’t cowbell as often. Triangle. Or Tambourine.
I know it’s not fair being the small guy. No one likes it. Everyone should have a turn.
It is kinda the same way in sports. The suckier players don’t get to play. They are benched. It isn’t fair either.
At least in band they get to do something, I guess?
My kid was that sucky kid playing baseball. He didn’t make the cut. He liked it, but wasn’t good at it. He knows how it feels to be the lowest on the totem pole.
So helps the younger kids in his section. He doesn’t mind. He helped her son when they were going on the band trip, as he considers him one of his friends.
Maybe the reason she was so nice to me last week is because she wanted to know why we didn’t go on the band trip. People do that. Pretend to be nice so they can gather information.
“We missed him! We could have used him!” She crooned.
Well, he was supposed to go on a band trip this year. He didn’t go. Why didn’t he go? Oh, because he has his head too far up his ass. I don’t know what his problem is this year.
No, I didn’t use those exact words, but I was honest. His slipping grades. Video games. Teenager stuff. Because we are dealing with real problems here. My son will overcome them, and be better for it.
So- no, he didn’t earn the trip this year.
Instead he helped her son learn the parts to go. When it was the weekend for the band to go on the trip, he sulked. He disrespected his father, and ended up grounded.
I didn’t tell her everything. The grounded part. Because I didn’t feel like I had to tell her everything.
I am sure they are talking anyway. I wore my dad’s jean jacket to school that morning. I am sure it was a fashion faux pas. Care I do not.
I tried not to let her attitude stick with me during the concert. It was an excellent show! My daughter moving in her seat. I couldn’t keep still myself.
My son playing the trap set made me proud. I could tell when he messed up a couple of times playing other percussion parts by the look on his face. Even though it wasn’t apparent in the song.
He made it obvious to me putting his hand over his face, and whispering about it. Then, laughing. A mother knows her son.
It was a long show with both middle and high school band, but I prefer it when they present their concert together. Sometimes they do chorus with the band. I would rather hear the band together.
It makes more sense to me. Band with the band. Rocking out.
Young talented musicians. On the rise. Full of hope. It reminded me of my time in high school.
I felt like the walls confined me, and I couldn’t wait to bust out. Couldn’t wait to make my mark.
I hope they succeed with whatever their plans are after high school, and never give up. Life may become rough sometimes, but it’s how we learn and grow into who we are. Who we are meant to be.
My favorite songs they performed– “The Voodoo Dance” by Elliott Del Borgo with my son on the trap set, “Uma Thurman” Arranged by Michael Brown, and “Star Wars the Force Awakens” by John Williams.
By the end of the night, any weird feelings I had from earlier were gone. Her feelings are her problem. What my kid says and what we do are two separate things. We were going, and he had no say. I wanted to hear him play, and see what he did all year in band.
My husband hates going to school functions. He becomes frustrated with people, and how they act. He appears grumpy. Even if he actually isn’t. Because he is on edge.
He deals with rude people during the day. I guess he expects them, and has a low-tolerance for them since I have a different outlook.
I can understand how he feels. The way people act can discourage a person from attending a school function. Raise your anxiety level. Second guess being there. If you are “worthy enough” to attend.
“Do I look alright?”
I know I felt that way!
In the end, I had just as much of a reason to be there as she did. People don’t realize how much their words can sting another person, and often they don’t care. It is sad, but I walked out of there prouder than ever of my boy.
He may be struggling a little now, but it won’t always be so. It all just needs to click, and once it does he will realize he had what it takes all along. He will quit doubting himself.
He will realize what I know to be true. That he has the intelligence and potential to be something great. He is the only one who is holding himself back.
He doesn’t realize how important he is.
How the world needs someone like him, and until he realizes it he won’t shine. He will blend in like the others. Do as they do. Walk like they walk. Speak as they do.
He will continue to bedazzle me with his drumming skills. Until one day I am watching teary-eyed as he is on stage as a senior– at the trap set. With hopes and dreams to make the world a better place because somewhere along the line it happened to click…
I am just praying it clicks sometime soon.