Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desiresof your heart. Psalm 37:4
Felt like a mega fail.
See, way before Eric, I'd always thought that my kids would be the ones bopping around in the stands with *ahem* my band. I didn't see a scenario with me home and my husband at the band hall. Band was life, life was band. Over the course of the years in college, my first job, and my second, I met Eric and slowly realized that maybe I was wrong.
But I still LOVED band. Honestly, I still do. I still miss the rollercoaster ride of running a great rehearsal, getting to know the kids, the planning, the creativity, the challenge of it all. I miss the culture of band, and have I mentioned the kids? There's not much quite like being bowled over by sixth graders in the grocery store. Then there are the kids who don't know what to do when they see that their teacher has life outside the school... yeah, that look of shocked confusion is always hilarious.
Now Eric does these things, and I'm home playing Candy Land, reading books, scrubbing the shower, tripping over toys, and getting bowled over by my own kids when I wake in the morning.
It's all I ever wanted.
I got to do the career thing for a while. It was great! I love those years. And I'm mostly through the times when I'd sit in the van and cry the first time to show up at rehearsal for marching season. Now I'm to the point where I want our kids to be part of the band culture. I want them to hang out and have fun with the big kids... and most of all, I want to share the world their Daddy and I love with them.
Maelynn and Richie decided that going to the band hall to see Daddy today was a great idea. Then Ryan heard, and said, "NO BAND HALL!"
I tried to hide it, but I was so disappointed. It's not a big deal, right? Not the end of the world. I did tell him, in my "mommy will push your boundaries, little dude" way that he'd by-golly go on Friday. He could have a pass today, but his Daddy would see his face at rehearsal once this week.
After getting him happy and turning on a movie (and once Maelynn and Richie had a couple of crises about finding what they wanted to take with them), I announced that it was time to go. I kissed Ryan on the head and told him I'd be back.
"YOU WILL GO TO BAAANNND HAAAALL!!!"
Well okay then.
He cried out with what sounded like panic. He had to come with us. Just HAD to. Maybe he thought I wouldn't really go without him? Granny was here, it was no big deal for him to stay here. On the way to the van, I found out why he didn't want to go.
"You will not turn off the lights!"
And I thought we were over that. Best we can figure, sometime when Eric had Ryan at the band hall after school, he had to lock up. When you're the last one out, you have to turn off the lights and then walk in the super-dark to the door. No big deal, right?
Not so much, says Ryan.
When we walked in, those sweet guard ladies exploded when they saw our kids. They made me so proud... both the colorguard and our kids. Richie and Maelynn didn't show the slightest hint of shyness, and Ryan went straight to Daddy's office. Perfect.
There was time to run around and play in a back room a bit with one of my kids' favorite people, one of the other directors' kids. We'll call her L. She even offered to let the kids play with her while I went in rehearsal. No thanks, they can play later... and then they ran toward the auditorium across the hall.
Ryan, however, flopped on the floor and refused to get up. Again, he was afraid they'd turn off the blasted lights. Through five minutes of meltdown that felt like a year, I sent the kids in with K, one of the other directors (and L's Mom... the apple didn't fall far from the tree). Actually, they came back in and she took them for me, not bothering me to ask. Love it when our friends know what we need.
In the end, I picked him up and carried him. Yes, off the floor. And when he got in there and heard that sound, he was home.
We sat through the whole rehearsal, kids dancing and Ryan drumming. Ryan roamed the auditorium while Richie and Maelynn got to play with L and one of the other directors' kids. Once we went back to the band hall, they played hide and seek... and this happened.
That's Ryan, being included in the game by L. She's ten. She doesn't need to be told to include him, she just does. He's part of her band family. She does a great job of treating him like a friend in ways that are respectful and kind, just like the other kids. If she gets in over her head, she comes to get me.
She may not know it, but she played a huge part of giving me a beautiful taste of the best of both worlds today. I got to visit and help move stuff just a little, I got to see the new hats and plumes (those suckers are awesome... and ginormous!), and I got to watch my kids play in the band hall.
Honor band, schmonor band... I've arrived. I wouldn't trade this moment for all the accolades, UIL sweepstakes trophies, and other things I used to chase after.
So many times I'm frustrated and tired and ready to scream. So often there is so much stuff pressing, so many worries about what we're doing, whether we're pushing him or spoiling him, blah blah blah. Then there are bright, colorful, amazing times when our heart's desires are handed to us, brought into grander perspective by the life surrounding them.
Kids goofing off in the band hall never looked so good.
Thanks be to God for giving us perspective, and for the granting of the desires of our hearts, though by the time we see them they look quite different than they began.
And, of course, for our G-Force band family being so sweet to make sure the lights stayed on.