Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Baritones: Heavenly Sounds?

Fifth graders are given the choice: band or choir.  For our first born, a musical instrument seemed like a natural fit.  He shied away from sports, and quickly took to music.  Our second son, Connor, faced this same decision.  Connor differs from his brother; he adores spending time on a sports field.  And so, we were hoping he'd choose choir (aka the free option).

But, Connor would not be dissuaded from band.  I'd like to say it's because he wants to be the next Mozart.  In reality, it's because that's what all his friends were doing, and in the life of a fifth grade boy it would be social suicide to make a choice that differs from his beloved peers.

Not only did he want to be in the band, but he begged us to play the largest, most monstrous instrument in existence: the baritone.  I tried to be the voice of reason. I reminded him that he would have the responsibility of lugging an instrument bigger than a child around the school halls and into the parking lot.  He treated it like an adventure.

And so we caved.  We rented (just to ensure he still LOVES the baritone in a month) a baritone the size of a tire.

Yesterday, he walked home with the baritone.  The problem was finding a good "home" for the instrument.  It landed on his floor and took up about half the space.  He pulled it out of the case, and the sound that drifted from the instrument sounded like a whale in hospice.  I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

This morning, he took it to school for the first time.  We couldn't fit it in the passenger seats, and so it found a place in the trunk.  At drop off, he pulled it out of the back, and lugged it into school. I noticed he was straining to carry the instrument, a backpack, and lunchbox into school.  I wondered at that moment if he was second guessing playing the piccolo.

Tonight, he pulled out the instrument again. I cringed.

Caleb teased him, "You know trumpets are called the instruments of kings.  Baritones are called the instruments of farts."

Connor shot back, "Heavenly farts then!"

I thought, if this is the sounds we'll hear in heaven, I'd like to stay on this side of the pearly gates...with a good set of headphones.

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