Very few of my friends were in band… matter of fact, I can only recall 2. (Yes, one of them was you Joe Bailey!)
Band was for nerds. At least that’s the preconceived notion that my genius 12-16 year old self thought, when I did stop to think about the people in band. Ugghhh, it’s amazing I didn’t get in more fights. Strike that, it’s amazing I wasn’t punched in the face
It would take 15 years and a thousand (plus one) lessons from my broken mold, oldest daughter before I would ever begin to see…
Hailey is (to say the least) a challenge for me. She’s brilliant, yet lazy. She’s gifted, yet absent-minded. AND…. She is a hobby jumper. By hobby jumper I mean she’s the HIGHLANDER of hobbies. She’s done ballet, tap dancing, gymnastics, soccer, softball, rock climbing, art classes and cheerleading. She’s excelled at all of them (except soccer, I don’t think she really “got” soccer). Anyway… When she started her 6th grade year it didn’t take her long before coming at me with a request to join the band.
Cheerleader to band member broke all the links in my head as I tried to comprehend just where exactly this kiddo fit in the spectrum of insult throwing dysfunction of the school lunchroom. She draws on her jeans. She rocks short hair. She is already years older than I wish she was. But what she didn’t strike me as…. a band nerd.
I pondered long and hard before making the 2 year commitment to a $2400.00 saxophone. I spent 2 months spelling saxophone…. sax-A-phone. I was clueless. I just knew that maybe if she walked through enough doors, she would find a hobby that just fit her, for the first time, completely.
For a week straight, there was honking coming out of her bedroom as she practiced creating sound. I thought she was killing geese. I moved her practice sessions to the driveway. DON’T JUDGE ME!
Within 3 weeks she was playing Hot Cross Buns. Within 2 months she was reading simple sheet music and playing in the house again. Last Thursday was their Christmas Concert. Standing there watching the 6th grade beginner band, I felt something break inside of me (and the Grinch’s heart grew 3 sizes that day).
I looked around at all of these cute kids, that took a leap of faith in themselves to learn to do something. Something that I cannot do. Something that I never TRIED to do. The music was wonderful. A few stray notes here and there, but for a group of kids that have been playing their instruments for only 3 months… WOW.
All the little faces glowing with pride, brought tears to my eyes. I watched Hailey as she sassed her saxophone through Jingle Bell Rock, and knew I owed a whole group of people an apology. (Which as a certified nerd in all other aspects of life goes, I am in fact sorry).