Last night was Michael’s Middle School Spring Fest Concert. I left work early and picked him up—the concert wasn’t until 7 p.m., but the two middle school bands and choruses were meeting up and having a pizza dinner and rehearsals at 5 p.m.
Driving from my work, I went from clear skies to darkened clouds, found out at Michael’s after school program that there was a tornado warning. Thought not much about it—there aren’t really that many tornadoes that touch down here in Massachusetts.
Dropped him off at the high school where all the spring concert festivities were going to take place.
Chewy (who had worked from home just so he could make sure to be here for Michael’s concert) and I went to pick up Willow. The three of us went to dinner at Johnny Rocket’s (she had mini hot dogs—hot dogs being her “new” favorite food). It was kinda weird to not have Michael along with us—a glimpse into the future I suppose…
I was also concerned because the weather was starting to look very menacing—and since he was not with us, I think I was a bit more worried than normal about it.
We went to the concert early to get good seats—Chewy and Willow went right up to the first row. Where I found them talking quietly to Michael. Because the advanced band was rehearsing on stage (the 6th grade band was in the seats). (Later, I find out that Chewy did not even know Michael was there until they had sat down)
At 7 p.m. the concert started. The sixth grade band was first up. We were in the front row—but Michael was in the second row (all I could see was the top of his head and his shoes/socks). Luckily, I knew that he was also announcing one of the songs. (Willow kept asking where Michael was—she had even less of a view, of course!)
It struck me how things can change in six months. All the playing was so much better. And Willow (who, last time during the holiday concert was insufferable) was so much better. She listened and she sat (relatively) still. She was interested in seeing Michael and encouraging him. And when she walked down the aisle to her seat during rehearsal—she sashayed (hips swinging with her skort) to the music.
Michael did really well. Actually, he did great—but he did not realize it. Towards the end of the performance, he seemed flustered (he dropped his clarinet) as he got ready to go up to the microphone to announce the last song. Other kids had shared the announcing of songs, etc. Most had used the script, looked down at the paper and shyly announced the next song. The girl before him (a soloist) had come up and had memorized her speech. Michael got up to speak. His music teacher offered him the script, but he waved it off. And got up to say his small announcement that he thought he had memorized. And in a strong voice—he stumbled over it...long pause. And, being Michael, he has to say it PRECISELY (so I awaited frustration, possible melt down). And in a strong voice—he recovered. Calmly he announced the last song. And went to his seat and played. I was so proud of him! He had a strong voice and in adversity, he recovered.
He was a bit disappointed with himself when he came to sit beside us for the rest of the concert. However, after the concert, when the band was gathering up to leave—a few girls came up to him to tell him he did a good job (well, Chewy saw that , I did not—I wish I had!)
Afterwards, we had decided that we would take him out for ice cream. We went to Schoolhouse Ice Cream, where the Bruins game was just starting. They ate their ice cream and played at the chalkboard. (Willow got soft serve chocolate with gummy bears; Michael went with his favorite, mint chocolate chip in a cone)
The sky was a strange yellow—and I recalled the last time I had seen that type of sky and felt that type of stillness—during a tornado. Never before had I seen it like this in Massachusetts. But, in Michigan…I had.
I was a little panicked as I put the kids to bed (anticipating that maybe I would have to be taking them down to the basement later). But, we were far east of where the tornadoes touched down. We did get some hail, some winds and the most lightening I have ever seen.
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