So, a commercial made me cry tonight.
I was innocently watching reruns of “Castle” when an advertisement for a local music school came on. It was the same music school that I took my son to one summer evening when he was 14 years old.
He had decided the past holiday season that he wanted to learn the clarinet in hopes of joining the high school band in the fall. I gave him my old clarinet and he went to work teaching himself to play. When he had gotten as far as he could with that, he asked for lessons.
We had driven by this music school many times, so I called and made an appointment for his first lesson for the following evening.
That night he and I walked into the lobby and met a white-haired dynamo named Mary. She would prove to be one of his greatest champions over the years.
That night though, he disappeared into one of the music rooms while I sat in the lobby reading. I would end up spending many evenings in that lobby, listening to the happy sounds of music, both from Josh’s lessons, as well as the band he had joined shortly after beginning lessons.
I came to cherish those drives to and from the music school. I loved spending time with my son, chatting about life and listening to his dreams. My husband and I drove all over the area to listen to his concerts and enjoyed getting to know the other band members.
Then one day he got his driver’s license. And he didn’t need me to drive him two towns over to the music school anymore.
I missed it.
Last night, I sat in my son’s room with him and we chatted for a long time about people and life and hopes and dreams and goals by the light of the cheerful colored Christmas lights that he strung along his wall.
He keeps them there all year. They make him happy.
He is a lot taller than I am now. He has peach fuzz. He has so much wisdom for his age, much more than I did then.
He will turn 18 in seven days. Then he will have a big party here at the house to celebrate that milestone. (At last count, there are about 30 kids on the guest list, possibly more 🙂 ).
He now plays the clarinet, the oboe, the bassoon, the saxophone, and the keyboard. He is a member of four bands. Next month, he will play with the prestigious All-State band.
He will graduate in June and leave for college in August.
And it all went by much too fast.