Last night we attended a band concert to watch The Pony toot his trombone for the next-to-last concert of his illustrious musical career. My mom met me there, and we waited for Farmer H to show up. We had a grand old time until he got there, and people from Newmentia sat down TWO rows in front of us. That kind of put a damper on festivities.
There were six schools at this year's shindig at a neighboring school district. I groused after seeing the program. "Why are we always last? Does it have to be alphabetical every year?" Last year there were a dozen bands. We didn't get out of there until after 9:30.
"No. Look. On the other side. We're next-to-next-to-last."
"Oh. You're right." After the first two bands played, I regained my senses. "Now I remember why we're so far down. They save the best for last. So as not to embarrass the others who might come after them." It's true. The two after us were fantastic. And bigger. One had FIVE tubas! Plus three baritones. That's a lot for Hillmomba high school bands.
The Pony was his unique self. I had chosen our seats (notice I didn't say I PICKED our seats--I have turned over a more socially-acceptable leaf for the evening, in honor of The Pony) for the precise purpose of viewing The Pony's face and trombone slide full-on. But as that Murphy fellow never repealed his law, we discovered that our band had totally revamped their seating arrangement. I could see every player in that band except for The Pony. He could not have been blocked out better by Mom's favorite basketball player, Chicago Bulls era Dennis Rodman.
I was able to observe my boy during times of non-playing. He bobbed his curly head to the beat more maniacally than a hopped-up rockin' robin. I'm surprised he didn't need a cervical collar after the two-song performance was over. I saw him walk up the steps of the fieldhouse and pass right by us. I was looking for him in the midst of his tuneful cronies in the bleachers after then next band performed. They were very good. A sound round of applause was enhanced by a LOUD cupped-hand clapping routine.
"That's your son, you know." Farmer H made no bones about it.
"Huh. Oh. There he is. No wonder nobody is sitting by him." Indeed. The Pony had a whole row to himself. Gone was the inclusion of the trombone section when the band had arrived and sat by instrument. In his defense, the -bones were in the row in front of him now. Turned around. Most likely telling him to knock off the wacky clap.
With one band left to go, my mom let it slip. "I don't really like this kind of music. It's not for me." Sweet Gummi Mary! All the years of going to The Pony's band concerts. All the years of going to MY band concerts. And now this revelation.
"You could go on home. I didn't know if you'd want to stay past The Pony's performance."
Then Farmer H had to put his two cents in. "There's nobody at home waiting. You might as well stay."
Let the record show that my dad passed away sixteen years ago. And my mom has missed him every single day since he's been gone. She feels like time passes slowly, and sometimes says her days seem like they will never end.
I'm surprised the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is not beating down our door to get Farmer H to pose for a poster on suicide prevention.