Posted by: Tricia | Saturday, September 13, 2008

A chip off the old block

I find it quite interesting that during the course of this blog, I have only mentioned once or twice something that is such a huge part of me. (Here is the only place I’ve ever gone into any detail about it.)

This is something that has really defined me. Playing the flute was my thang. Not just my thing, but my thang. And I was good. Really good. I was the first alternate for the all-state band in my area my senior year of high school. I played in church. I played in college. Before moving across the metro Detroit area a couple years back, having another baby, and then getting divorced and becoming a single mom, I was actually working to start up a bit of a career at it. I played in a flute choir for five or so years. When my dad passed away, I spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $6000 on my dream flute with the leftover insurance money (after paying off my car and credit cards). I played in a couple of weddings, and got an amazing gig playing in a nearby suburb’s 16-performance production of The Music Man. I actually earned about $600 for that! I was a member of the National Flute Association, as well as a much smaller regional flute networking group that had a flute choir that I participated in. I even attended the NFA’s annual convention in Washington D.C. a few years back.

It’s my passion.

But when the shit really hit the fan in my life, I had to prioritize. And that was the first thing to go. I’ve missed it. That beautiful instrument has been sitting. Collecting dust. Quite sad. I’m just now starting to feel like everything else might be getting in order enough that I could think about dusting it off again.

But that’s not my point of this post. The last sentence of the section of the post I linked to earlier is.

“I’m hoping I can get the RK to follow in my bandgeeky ways.”

The RK thus far hasn’t shown any interest in music, as a listener, or a performer. I’ve been quite disappointed in that, but just for my own selfish reasons. He’s got to find his own thang, and I’ve accepted the fact that music just might not be it. He’s drifting in a more techy, science-geek direction. He loves the later Star Trek series-es. He can watch the Discovery Channel all the live-long day. He loves studying weather radar maps on the computer. He asks me questions about nature on a daily basis that I don’t have a clue how to answer. Despite my own personal letdown, it’s been so cool watching him pick his own direction in life.

He just started the fifth grade. In this school district, fifth grade is when they start the kids on musical instruments. I don’t think it’s mandatory, but my impression is that the majority of the kids go through it. The RK has been rather cool to the whole thing; that is, until the time for his fitting approached. He got so excited about it, even calling me at work the other day to ask if I had gotten the call from the band technician about setting up the appointment yet. So I’m getting pretty excited at this point. It’s so great to see my child so excited about something like this!

Yesterday was the big day. For the fitting during the school day, I told him to at least make a sound on every instrument, even though he had already picked clarinet & violin as his first two choices. He said OK. Then when we went back up to the school last night, he got to mess around on a few more (I even made him try to make a sound on a flute). The big winner was the trombone, of all things! He said he had tried one earlier in the day, but when he picked it up last night, he got an amazing sound on it right off the bat! The technician said it was the best sound he had heard from any of the students. So of course, the RK starts getting really excited.

So out of the school we came, the RK carrying a brand new (to him) trombone! And he is just so proud of it. He started working through the the method book & DVD this morning, and is already making progress.

My dream is coming true! However, there still might be one little hiccup in my diabolical plan. The RK has said he does not want to be in the marching band. Whaha? But…but…I WANNA BE A BAND MOM!!! I’m still not too worried about it at this point, because marching doesn’t start until ninth grade. I told him not to rule it out at this point, because it’s still a long way off. To improve my chances of the diabolical plan coming to fruition, I will probably take the RK to some of the high school football games so he can watch the high school band at halftime. Perhaps that will light a fire in him.

All in all, yesterday was quite a milestone in the RK’s life. And I’m just about the happiest mom in the universe! Even if he ends up not pursuing it long-term, it’s still going to play a big role in defining who he is and what he will become.

It’s so cool seeing him with a trombone. I guess because I had never tried to picture it before, it looks kind of strange at this point. Also, that whole ‘defining who he is’ thing. I’m wondering if this will really be a something that defines him like the flute did for me?

Finding out will be fun…



  1. […] my home. I requested two guys, who perhaps might make an impression on the RK, given his recent decision. The RK and I have talked about it, and we’ve made plans to head to the football game that […]

  2. […] And it was AWESOME! I am totally in my element sitting in a concert band. I love getting out my new, beautiful and very expensive professional-grade flute and feeling the metal gradually warm in my fingers as my breath flows through it. And I love […]

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