Tuesday, November 25, 2008

José, Can You See?

Becky was telling me the other day about Eddie's latest chorister practice at church. It seemed that Mr. Harris was quite put out when Mrs. V, the music director, asked him to sing a lower part in the music they were practicing. Eddie only wanted to sing the prominent treble part, and was grumbling and pouting as a result.

Mrs. V hates discord in her choir (no pun intended) and is always trying to keep everyone happy. But she stood firm when having Eddie sing the lower part. Afterward, she wanted to make sure that everything was okay with Becky. She wanted Becky to know why she ignored Eddie's angst and made him sing the lower part. She explained that not all of the choristers had the range and skill to sing both high parts and low parts, and that it was in fact a compliment to Eddie that he was asked to take on this new lower part.

"Wow," I thought. "That's good."

She went on to ask Becky, "Do you think Eddie has perfect pitch?"

Low-key as always, Becky played down her question, stating, "Oh, I don't know. I don't even know what perfect pitch is. I don't really know."

That is typical Becky. She has high expectations, and delivers her praise in very small measured doses. We can't ever be getting too full of ourselves, can we?

As for me, I was thinking, "Are you kidding me?! HELL YEAH! He's gonna be a BIG STAR!"

I am not like Becky. I am full of irrational exuberance, unchecked optimism, and endless amounts of praise and bragging on my children--which I'm sure is most tedious to my friends and family, but I make no apologies. No doubt, if my children are ever on a path to fame and fortune, I will be one of those insufferable stage dads carping on my boys, the directors, the stage staff, pretty much everyone behind the curtain. (Sorry, in advance.)

Which brings me to the present. Today is the boys' last day of class before the long Thanksgiving holiday break. At their school, today is the day for the infamous Moose Bowl.

The Moose Bowl is a day of goofy elementary school athletics, in which the teachers compete in silly events of endurance and skill. The teachers are goaded and encouraged on by the hyperactive shrieking mobs of small children, with the decibel level in the auditorium often reaching levels that induce bleeding of the inner ear and shattering of the spinal column. Last year, I wished I'd brought my Winchester safety headphones and Advil.

This year, we learned from Eddie that Mrs. Wessel, his music teacher at school, had chosen him and one other child, Carson B., to jointly perform the National Anthem at the opening of the Moose Bowl. What an honor! These two children were chosen out of the more than thousand kids in the school to sing our nation's song. (There I go bragging again!) But really, I was most impressed, so was Eddie, and even Becky had to admit it seemed pretty special. It would be his BIG MOMENT.

All last week, we coached Eddie to ham it up:

"Sing it like Mariah Carey!" I told him. "Oohh-oooh--ooh-oh-ohhhhhh SAYYYYYYY can you SEEE-eee-eee-eee-eeeeh...."

Grandpa Duke suggested, "José, can you see? That the lawn's painted white?"

And Luke added his two cents as well, suggesting something reminiscent of a Spongebob Squarepants hard rock ballad.

"No," Eddie crisply responded to all of us. "Mrs. Wessel said we have to sing it right." Becky just pursed her lips at us all in sharp disapproval.

Darn. That would have been cool. Oh well.

So, without further delay, here is Eddie's performance of our National Anthem.

Please rise:

Star Spangled Banner at the Moose Bowl from Scott Harris on Vimeo.

Of course, the only problem with that video is that you can't hear Eddie singing. So, here is a reprise of the Star Spangled Banner:

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