Lasts and Firsts

This week is the beginning of A’s Last Times in Middle School. Yesterday she had the first of her two last concerts. It went well, a joint concert with the school orchestra and chorus. The band played with the orchestra for the last song of the evening, which also went well and allowed A to play near her friends who are string players. The orchestras around here appear to be only strings, which is kind of unrealistic and not that bad really.

Concerts here are a social event, a bit weird and uncomfortable for those of us who are not naturally social. The concert space is basically a giant open space in the middle of the school, just beyond the front door. It doubles as a lunchroom, auditorium, movie theater (probably). There are several rows of folding chairs for friends/family/other students. We usually go upstairs to the balcony. It’s better to video concerts, certainly for those of us vertically challenged types, and somewhat less crowded. Not empty, but there’s definitely more breathing room.

Yesterday was also one of A’s first auditions for high school. She’s playing in marching band next fall – which means somebody else to do Zombies, Run! with this summer – and she wanted to audition for Wind Ensemble. So she did. Practiced two entire weekends, even brought her instrument home a couple of times. We’ll find out for sure today. At least one of us already knows, but the rest of us will know by this evening.

Homework and studying for exams are taking up more and more time as the end of the year draws near. Next week there’s a project or exam every day in every class. Then the last day and a half and they’re middle schoolers no more. I can’t bring myself to think about that right now.

Next week is the band concert. A’s playing in concert band and jazz band. If everything goes well, M will be able to come down and see her play for the first time in person. Music is a big thing in her family as well, so I think it was expected that A would play some sort of instrument. It’ll be good to have M here as part of the audience, for both of them. At least we all hope it will. That’s the thing about adoption, an open adoption in particular; you just never know what’s the right thing to do. It’s always a guess and a huge leap of faith (said the faithless one). And bracing yourself for the therapy bills later…

Three months from now, she’ll be in the middle of her first month of high school. Growing up and farther away from all of us. It’s already started, as any of you with teenagers already know. She snapchats and Facetimes the people she saw in school just an hour or two ago. We only get to hear some of what happens at school, but I suppose some is better than none. We can’t protect her from the things that could happen any more, because they are too big I hope that we’ve all done well enough by her that she can move out into the world with only a few minor bumps and bruises.

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