If Catholics believed in reincarnation, I would suspect Mikey was once Teddy Roosevelt. He is my petite lion. I know this about him, and I knew his competitive nature would overtake him once I showed him Youtube videos of boys his age playing the clarinet. One boy played jazz really well and had videos stretching over 3 years. It was cool to watch his skills improve over time, and I knew when Mikey asked me hours later to play the videos again that my boy would learn the clarinet with a steely eye on Alexander2010.
Yesterday was the first day of band camp. Nico did very well and asked if he could attend camp for the rest of his life. Mikey did well, too. His teacher said he did great for never having touched a clarinet before. There was one other clarinet player there–a girl, and two other players were missing–but that didn’t bother Mikey in the least. So far, he doesn’t see instruments as overtly feminine or masculine. (Good, because they’re not.) Cool or less cool, yes, but he’s okay with the clarinet. In fact, since black is the standard clarinet color, it’s automatically more cool than other instruments in his eyes.
Mikey was annoyed after his session got out to see one of his best friends and a bunch of other boys waiting for the Garage Band mixing class to start, but logic won out. When I pointed out he would show up to school in September with months of instrument practice already underway, and that he could possibly be one of the leaders in the band…well, that’s all my little Bully needed to hear.
He was a little tired when he got out of camp– “Mom, the breathing!” –but it was nothing tacos and a cookie couldn’t remedy. I asked him if he would play for me when we got home, and if he would let me video him as well. He was like those cartoons that take off so fast they leave their shadow behind. Within seconds he was back with his clarinet case and a rough idea of what he wanted to say to announce his musical debut.
We had to do a few takes because someone’s little brother was making too much noise, making him laugh, or running around behind him. I didn’t think it was a big deal, but I’m no artist! Plus, there was a time or two where his clarinet squawked like a goose that just realized it’s Christmas.
“Gah! You can go ahead and delete that, mom!”
“Cut! You deleted that, right mom?”
Here is the final video we took, even though he asked me to please shoot it again since I humiliated him with an “I love you” at the end. You can see how out of breath he is after take-358. Note at 18 seconds his begrudging admission that the clarinet is, indeed, a fun instrument. And finally, that humming you hear in the background is Nicholas. He is so excited he can’t help himself. It’s better than the random bursts of recorder notes that happened during takes-241-254.