And now, Pranksters, I give you my firstborn son, Ben.
Music has always been important to me. Somehow, I never got the chance to really shine with my violin, until 5th grade.
The day before the concert, I was practicing and giving my mom, dad, and brother a concert. During my last song, I finally did the last bit of the song right. I played it right, it sounded right and it felt right.
After I played the last note right, my mom, dad, and brother clapped loud – my dad even whistled with his fingers.
“Great Job! Ben!” My Mom exclaimed.
“Yah! Ben! Amazing Job!” My Brother agreed.
Then my Mom said something I will never forget. “Ben… you have amazing talent, I will say! But… it’s up to you what you do with it!”
I will never forget those words.
I finished my practice and went up to dinner, wondering what those words meant.
The next night was my big concert. I was getting ready – I put on my pale-yellow dress shirt, my pants, my socks and shoes. “I’m busy as a bee,” I thought to myself. I grabbed my violin and went downstairs.
“Break a leg!” my Mom said encouragingly.
“Good Luck!” my Brother exclaimed.
“I’ll do my best” I promised, then grinned. We went out to the car and I got in. I was really nervous. Nervous as a Scardy Cat. My hands were shaking. The whole way to the auditorium, I thought about what my Mom had said. When we got to the building, my mom and dad whispered, “Good luck!”
I whispered back “Thanks!”
They went and sat down in their seats as I went to warm up with my group. My Orchestra Teacher gave us a pep talk before wishing us good luck. We got on stage and I craned my neck to look for my parents. As usual, I don’t see them beyond the stage lights. Our music teacher talks for a bit; her last words were “These guys have worked really hard. I hope you enjoy their music and thank you for coming out here tonight. Ladies and Gentlemen the 5th grade Orchestra!” she exclaimed.
We started to play. I played better than ever; I played perfectly for the first song. The second song, I’d played better than the first. During the last song, I remembered my mom’s words “It’s up to you what you do with your talent, Ben.”
So I tried to show of my talent to the world. When I was done playing, I felt like a new person. I knew music was my real talent. The audience went wild, so wild you couldn’t even talk without somebody yelling “What?”
We bowed and I think I even saw my dad wink at me. If, of course, that was my dad.
We came back after the applauding, screaming and going wild. My family congratulated me. I knew my mom knew that I knew that music was my talent. We celebrated over McDonald’s that night.
The Ben that walked into the auditorium was different than the Ben that walked out. I had accomplished something I thought I couldn’t do. I thought so many doubtful things. I was so nervous that my hands shook. But now? Now I know that…
Music is me. Music is in my blood. Music is my nature.
And THIS is why we’re taking a trip to NashVegas this summer, just the two of us. It’s time to teach my son the history of music.