Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit. ~Henry Adams
Yes, this isn’t another quote chosen by happenstance. I thought it only fitting since Kyle loves math and he’s my little teenager trying to be unique. It’s also a reminder that life is delicate, simple, and yet complex, especially when dealing with a teenager. I know I’ll never truly know Kyle’s outcome in life, but I do know what I’m desperately trying to teach him, and how I’m leading by example.
It’s no secret Kyle’s always loved music, hence why I started him young, at the age of six to be exact, with piano lessons. Now as a fiery fourteen-year-old he’s in the marching band. Honestly, this decision, which was solely his, which rings music to my ears. I love Kyle’s involvement in the band! It’s wonderful discipline, a structured social activity, good competition and great cultural exposure with their travels, just to name a few benefits.
Unbeknownst to some, I too was involved in the Greater Latrobe Marching Band for four years. Granted, I never played an instrument, I was in the Colorguard, but I was apart of a great group of people and I had the best years of my life. The marching band was my gateway to Winterguard, and in my senior year, I was apart of the Indoor Drumline.
Did I influence Kyle at all? I’m really not sure. I know I never pushed him into marching band, but I’ve made comments, mostly about my experiences in the band and how much fun I had. Perhaps something resonated with Kyle, or he’s more like me than I realize, and we have the same type of interests and enjoy the same activities. Who knows? Personally I don’t care. I’m happy he found something he enjoys.
As you may have guessed, Kyle plays the sousaphone. What is that? It’s a form of tuba. Does he like it? When asked, he kind of shakes his head and nonchalantly smiles. I’ve learned in teenage terms, that’s a great big YES.
He’s already gone through band camp, which in everyone’s experience is dreaded, yet favorable in lifelong memories. It’s hard work but the payoff and benefits are well worth it.
About two Saturday’s ago, September 12th, Mom and I were able to attend Kyle’s home band competition at Kiski. Sadly, it rained off and on throughout the competition. Add the bitter cold and it made for a less than favorable evening of band watching. Did I care? Not one bit! It brought back memories of marching through the mud, and being soaked to the bones along with everyone else. Those are the times that bond a group, believe it or not. The hard times reveals everyone’s true attitude and nature, and can be the glue that unites a large group. From what I’ve been told, it’s very similar to being in the armed forces, same basic principle.
Competitions were always my favorite. Football games, I didn’t really care much about, and parades were okay, but what I lived for, besides the travel, were the Saturday night competitions.
Naturally, mom and I arrived early. We wanted to get a good seat and make sure we didn’t miss anything Kyle was involved in. We didn’t! In fact, when entering the football field, we came in on the wrong side and had to cross the field, literally in the grass to get to the other side. While doing so, Kyle and his group of blue were lined up practicing before us. What luck! Boy did that make my day! Naturally, I stood in front of everyone, yelling, “Kyle! Kyle!” Of course, he was in the back and didn’t hear me at first. Getting the attention of a young lady, I was on a mission to make eye contact with Kyle. Finally, Kyle looked up and tried not to give me that typical grin. Was I flailing my arms around and waving them in his direction? You bet I was! Subtly, he brought his hand up to give me a little wave, trying to appease me so I’d leave. My night was complete! I got to see Kyle and he looked good!
It was great watching the bands again. I truly enjoyed it. Some braved the rough terrain and kept to their routines, while others stood and performed for the audience. Kiski stood and played. They were the last high school on the field, so I didn’t blame them. As a whole, they looked and sounded great.
Kyle did not disappoint. When Kyle wants to, he’ll give his all to being the best that he can possibly be given the task at hand. I’ve seen in when he was a server (alter boy) in church. The same precision and intent was portrayed while Kyle was on the field. I mean he carried himself well, and had the attitude of an competitor. I was very proud!
This past Saturday was Bands of America in Monroeville. I was unable to attend since I was administering to a scavenger hunt in Arlington, Virginia for Thrill of the Hunt. When I got back on Sunday, after I picked Kyle up at the tutor’s, I asked about the event. Proudly, Kyle told me they took first place and he had a metal to show for it. I could tell he was very pleased, as he should be.
Good job buddy! I wish I could have been there to watch and support you! Next time. I couldn’t be more proud, and I hope your experiences are rewarding and fun. Congratulations!