I must have been in 3rd or 4th grade when this happened. I can't remember the beginning of the story, but the end of the story has stuck in my memory, even though it doesn't come up often. I pull it out sometimes, when there's nothing I can do about it, and I toss it around, trying to figure out if it changed my life, or if it was a predictor of who I was going to be.
I was in school choir when I was young. I actually had a really nice voice up until I was in my mid-twenties and let cigarette smoking take it away. I still think I have a nice voice, but Sydney tells me I sound like a cat in a blender...like I listen to anything she says.
Anyway, I had a speaking part in this particular concert in addition to being a part of the choir. I think it was a cmas concert and I was going to read the story and the choir would sing the songs. We were all supposed to wear a white shirt and dark pants to school that day. For some reason, I did not have my shirt. Don't know whether it wasn't clean, or my Mom had to go buy one, or she just didn't want me to wear it and get lunch on it. Regardless, I didn't have my shirt. The choir all went out on the risers in the auditorium. And, because I was in a dark shirt instead of a white one, I refused to go. I remember that there was quite a fuss made about it before the concert. When my Mom got there with the shirt, she brought it to me and I still wouldn't go put it on and walk up on the stage all by myself to take my place among the other choir members that were already up there. My Mom talked to me, my teacher talked to me, the choir teacher talked to me and the more they talked, the more embarassed I got and the more stubbornly I stuck to my chair, among my non-singing classmates, instead of up on the stage where I belonged. And, the more stubbornly I sat there, the more they pushed me to move. I doubt this whole exchange took more than a minute and a half, but I remember it as dragging on for hours.
I was too embarassed to walk across that stage by myself and I missed out and put the choir teacher on the spot because she had to find someone else to do the reading (I remember that she chose Lisa E.). I can remember that I was so excited about the concert and then so disappointed that I was not in it. And so embarassed. Such a confusing mash of emotions. And, I don't remember anything that happened after the concert, but I do remember being so relieved when everyone finally stopped trying to get me up there and just left me alone and let the concert begin.
This might be one of the moments that made me who I am. One day, I hope to understand the impact it had, if any.
This old memory, that I don't fully understand, came back to me a couple weeks ago when the volleyball jersey that I had repaired for Sydney came apart just before the game. I am so glad that she didn't let that jersey keep her from playing. I am so glad that she solved her own problem when there was nothing I could do to help her. I think the strength to persevere and play the game must be something inside her. I hope I had something to do with that. I hope I can teach her to go for everything she wants and don't let anything stop her, even if she's wearing the wrong shirt for it.
You guessed it. You can set a clock by it. It's Way Back Wednesday again. Take care and have a great one. We'll see ya' round the www. Lane