There's a lot of change going on here at home. Some of it good, some of it bad, but there's definitely a change.
We have something new here that hasn't been tried before, at least in this household. My oldest child with my wife, Karen (I have an older son from the "practice" marriage), has started high school. Now I know you may say "we all have (or have had, or will have) kids in high school, Bill, what makes this so different?". Well, good friends, it's different because it's happening to me.
Yup, it scares me to say, I've unleashed a teenager on Plymouth Writemarsh High School.
Skipping back a bit, at the end of 8th grade, Jesse decided that he wanted to join Drum Line, so he could play bass in the "pit". Going to the meetings and the mini-camp at the end of the school year, he was recruited to play in the pit for the marching band, also. What he didn't realize then, was that when he joined, so did his whole family.
The commitment to the band is not for the casual user or the faint of heart. Jesse, who does not yet drive, has either practice, a game or a competition or any combination of the three, on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. He has scouts on Monday, so 5 nights a week, Jesse is out of the house from at least 5 until 9-9:30 at night. Guess who drives him?
I'm not writing this to complain. You see, I've become rather fond of the Plymouth Whitemarsh Marching Colonials. So much, in fact, that I'm starting to feel a bit melancholy that the season is just about at it's end.
Some of the senior kids will be moving on to college or tech school, and new faces will replace them next year. These seniors never looked at my son (or any of the freshmen) with the normal disdain that the "regular" kids may, but took these newbie band members under their collective wings, mentored them, and became role models, someone to aspire to be like. These kids are something special, and it will be bittersweet to see them go...happy for them because they now get to start a new chapter in their lives, sad because this very well could be the last time we cross paths with these special young people.
I've also seen a huge change in Jesse. He's become his own person, not just "our son" but really developed into an incredible personality. He plays the bass like a seasoned pro, and is better at it than I ever was, at 14 years old. He has nowhere to go but forward.
I've realized, too, that Jesse is not at all like me. He looks a bit like me, enjoys the same music and movies that I do, but things pretty much end there. Scraps is laid back where I'm kind of intense. He's got a very dry sense of humor, I'm more bold and in your face about it. He likes muscle cars, I'm into bikes.
He has one very important trait that I've never had...the talent and drive to succeed. He knows what he wants out of life, at 14, and I'm still searching.
While I'm waxing nostalgic about the season that just passed, he's looking forward to Jazz Band, and Drum Line. Sign up meetings are in a week or so. From what I gather, he'll only be out of the house 4 or 5 nights a week.
I'm glad I have a few weeks to catch my breath...hopefully, he'll ask me to drive him.
(Plymouth Whitemarsh placed first overall in their division at their first competition at Lower Bucks Central High, placed second at the State Championships at Hershey, PA, placed third at a regional competiton at Abington High School, and placed 6th at the Nationals today in Annapolis, MD. PW's scores were increasingly better with each competition, scoring their highest point total of the year, 91.465, at the Nationals)
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