Tuesday, December 8, 2009

G-String Waving in the Wind

Tyrel started the school year by filling our home with the sounds of a dying cat as he practiced his violin for 5th Grade orchestra. I will publicly announce I am thankful these noises have, for the most part, gone away. We have graduated to recognizable notes and, at times, a familiar tune.

Orchestra class means a Christmas concert to showcase their skills. Let me set the scene- too many parents and families are packed into an elementary school gymnasium. Of course, each of these parents has important secrets or scoldings that inevitably build to a roaring crescendo.

The orchestra is comprised of typical 5th graders who are trying, and often failing, to look as if they are paying attention; clearly there are too many distractions about for their 5 senses. Don’t let their shirts and ties or dresses sucker you into thinking they will all behave. These kids can tumble, play sports, jump rope, and play kickball better in their Sunday dress than most adults in athletic attire.

Finally, after the temperature in the gymnasium is slightly less than percolating and the clock on the wall shows fifteen minutes late, a school official slays the racket by speaking into the microphone.

Next, the music teacher debunks for all parents the commonly used lies about violin practice that she is certain have been presented to the parents as gospel by their children. This of course includes a demonstration with a violin causing some pregnant pauses in the cadence of verbal information.

Suddenly, during a deafly quiet lull, I hear the sound of a protesting violin after it is dropped to the ground. As a parent I could not have been more proud (ha, ha) when I realize this upstaging was Tyrel.

Tyrel’s expression was priceless.  Red-faced he quickly clamored to collect his music tackle. I was relieved to see Tyrel execute this retrieval flawlessly. Too late though, everyone, orchestra included, took the opportunity to ogle.

Then death. Tyrel and I must have recognized defeat in the same instant. He was, as inconspicuously as possible, giving his violin a post accident inspection. While still standing on the stage, his relief was quickly exterminated by eternal embarrassment. After checking his bridge to assure it was still straight, he looked down the neck only to recognize what he later described as “my g-string waving in the wind.” The stage lights reflected off all the strings and announced Tyrel’s violin now had bed-head.

Then a psychological poke in the eye to accentuate Tyrel’s embarrassment. Not wanting Tyrel to miss out on the performance experience, the orchestra teacher put the entire production into a holding pattern. Tyrel’s battle scarred utensil was snatched from his hands and he was left flailing in the spotlight for an eternity while a replacement instrument was retrieved from another room. I know he died a thousand deaths.

The rest of the performance went along swimmingly but was plain vanilla as far as unplanned interjections.

Several hours later I still have tears of laughter rolling down my face every time I think of Tyrel’s 15 minutes of fame. I’ll lobby the authorities for an additional 15 minute allotment as his first episode snuck up in ambush.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Favorite story of the year! Classic.