I had been bemoaning that after crapping out the lining of the colon for most of the day–thank you food poisoning for curing my desire to live–I then had to go and sit through my son’s orchestra concert. Truthfully, while I may have sounded unhappy by it, I wasn’t actually all that upset.
While sitting through 200 3rd graders bowing out Flight of the Mother Fucking Bumblebee may not sound like a rip-roaring good time to most, you have to remember that I live with two of the loudest people on the planet. I’m pretty sure I could sell Alex and Amelia to a museum or university to be studied because their voices are so fucking loud that they sheer glass.
I sometimes wonder why I don’t take my kids out until I actually put the two small ones in the car and then I don’t wonder any more. My ear drums are immediately pierced by their indignant wails and as I’m crying in agony and trying to forcefully eject myself from the car, I vow to stay home. FOREVER.
So sitting through an amateur orchestra concert was a cake walk in my book.
What was especially full of The Awesome was seeing my own son with his floppy mop of hair on the very same stage where I used to play.
I know I dropped a bomb on you the other day when I informed you that I played concert cello for many years because picturing me as a cellist is probably about as easy as picturing me with a penis (come to think of it, picturing me with a wang is probably easier). In fact, I bet you were up nights, crying into your pillow, wondering why OH WHY I hadn’t sent out a press release about it so you weren’t taken aback.
So, I’m sorry. FORGIVENESS. Because I know how much THE DEBIL is in the DETAILS.
Yeah. So whenever I tell people I used to play, they’re always like, “Oh, I’m SO SORRY,” like my arm had turned gangrenous and fell off and that’s why I was forced to give it up. It’s really sweet and I never know how to tell them that I’m really glad to be done. I played for 12 years and I toured Europe and I wasn’t great but I think I was good and when I was done, I stopped.
My son, who is autistic, loves music. When people couldn’t soothe him, music was right there. The very second that we could, he was signed up for music lessons and it comes as no surprise to me that he adores playing in the orchestra.
He’s naturally very good. He’ll be better than I ever was without much effort on his end. Music, like the planets, is clearly Ben’s thing.
So as I sat there in the darkened auditorium last night, finally on the other side of the stage, my heart grew as I watched my tiny son fidget and bob his head to the music knowing that he has found his home.
We all worry about our children finding their way, but those of us with special needs children worry doubly, I think, because we wonder if anyone else will see the good in our kids. If others can look past what is on the outside to get to what is on the inside. It’s not always easy.
Last night, though, I forgot about how upset I am that a number of his autistic tendencies are flaring up again. I forgot about my frazzled patience. I forgot about deadlines and dogs who have seizures and migraines and neurologists. I let it all slip away and for a moment, I focused on my bobble-headed kid and how cool it is to see him up on that stage, deeply concentrated on his music.
For once, his inner voices quelled. And mine too.
I couldn’t be more proud. Of him. Of us. Of where we’ve come from. Of where we’re going.
It’s a good life.