Around a month ago, G came home with two bits of news: the Lincoln talent show would be occurring again and he would try out with his piano song “Indian Dance.” The bits of news came tumbling out of his mouth so fast upon his entering the vehicle after school that the information arrived in my brain almost simultaneously.
He was excited, as evidenced by his intensity of relaying the news with his big eyes gripping mine and slightly louder-than-normal voice.
When he got home he practiced, even before partaking in Treat Time. It was an old song of his, he knew it pretty well, but still he practiced the piece again and again over the next few days. One time he stood, frustrated, next to Little Missy for practicing her own weekly piano songs, because he needed to practice for the talent show, and couldn’t she wait?
He brought home the sheet of paper that promised my ok for him trying out and possibly earning a spot in the talent show. Then he practiced some more, sometimes running with an “Oh yeah!” to the piano in response to my question of, “Have you practiced today?”
The tryouts came and he was ready. Still his excitement was evidenced only by a nod and a hard stare of determination when I asked him about it.
After school on the day of tryouts he’d barely sat in the vehicle before asking if I could text Mrs. C to find out whether he’d made it into the show; tomorrow’s promised answer was too long to wait. And when he found out the next day that he’d made it there was a fist pump and a “Woohoo!” as he told me, but then the steely eyes of determination and more practicing. And he was proud. He asked me to call his piano teacher that very night to tell her he’d made it.
More practicing. Then the night before the show, after hugs and kisses and on his way to bed, he told me that he was nervous but that he’d prayed God would help him to not be as nervous. A bit surprised that he was nervous, and a bit surprised at myself for being surprised because of course he was nervous, I told him I’d be praying for him, too.
The next day at the talent show he rocked it. That’s the only way to say it: that boy rocked it. At his turn he walked onto that stage, promptly sat at the piano after it’d been moved into place for him, and he rocked that piece he’d practiced for so long. Then he stood up, took a bow (as the teachers had told the kids to do), and hurried off stage.
Page 2 of 2 - This kid who signed up for the talent show without hesitation, who practiced for weeks with almost no prompting from me, who barely got nervous and took it to God when he did, is so rad. I am in awe of his casual bravery and determination.
Good on you, Gideon. Good on you.
Erin Fox is a weekly columnist for the Augusta Gazette. Her popular blog - erin’s little corner can also be found on our webpage, www.augustagazette.com.