Kiddo commits to performing in a middle school honour band. He is representing his school for a public, school-board wide performance in celebration of Music Monday. It’s not really the kind of music that excites him but he is honoured to have the job, and persists with the long, boring bi-weekly practices to honour his commitment. But there is a part if him that just wants to get this performance over with.
On stage this evening, I can see that’s he’s restless. His performance comes after a junior choir, but his group must wait quietly on stage while that group performs their three songs. He has drum sticks in his hands, which makes me nervous.
He drums constantly, you see. He will drum literally on any surface or person close by, but also in his head. I can see him keeping time while he’s reading, doing the dishes, brushing his teeth. Percussion is under his skin and narrates his life.
I see him shifting on stage. He is standing behind a crash cymbal, behind the brass section. He fidgets, he twirls his sticks. Then he starts drumming on his legs, giving a rock beat to the sweet song the grade 2, 3, and 4 students are singing. One of his fellow percussionists stops him, quiets his sticks.
Then comes the head-slapper. He takes out his phone and starts texting someone. Kiddo!, I am screaming in my head, put your phone away!!! Oh lordie. I am mortified, embarrassed, and experiencing serious doubts about my parenting skills. Who on earth is he texting from on stage? I will take away the phone — this is too irresponsible. It’s got to be his father’s fault, right? This sketchy onstage behaviour?
Then my phone buzzes. It’s a text. From kiddo. Wondering where I am in the crowd so he can try to see me. Aww. I am melty.
Still, no texting while on the stage, my little drummer boy.
Hi. My name is Danial Lalji. Yes. It's spelled with an "a" instead of an "e". Soccer is life.
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