I have many blessings in my life but one of the most surprising ones was when God blessed me with a son when he was 10 years old. It was very rough at first as I had rules and he had not had any at all. He liked to play video games all day and I came along and said he could only do that for an hour a day. He used his asthma as an excuse to do NOTHING and I'm not one who puts up with excuses. He had a lot of bad things happen in his short life and wanted to use them all as excuses to fail. I've had a lot of bad things happen in my life and try to use them as excuses to succeed. We were like oil and water.
This young man didn't want to play in the band in middle school or do chorus. I was the mom from hell and said you will do one or the other. He said "fine, I'll play the tuba"; I said "fine, the school will provide it". He said "fine I'll play the trombone"; I said "fine, we'll rent one."
He grew to love the trombone thanks to a wonderful middle school teacher who took a special interest in him. Gary Whitis was a huge influence on him and his passing when my son was a freshman in high school was hard on him. He then had the good fortune to have a wonderful high school band director who let my son explore many genres of music; from classical to jazz to ska and much more. My son was in the NKY Select band every year he was of age and was usually first chair. He was first chair in the KMEA Allstate Jazz Band at the age of 16. He won many awards and much recognition due to the amazing talent he has. This past year, the reggae band he played with won the Cincnnati Entertainment Award. To say I'm proud of him puts it mildly.
It's not always been easy. We've butted heads. Nothing a few push ups wouldn't fix. :) He has never given me a minute of worry. While some of his friends were doing things they shouldn't, he stayed true to himself. Our blended family has had a lot happen to us in the 12 and 1/2 years we've been together. A lot has changed. He is no longer the 5' tall, chubby little boy who does nothing but play video games and can't stand still for a minute. He is 6'3", would rather play his horn then eat and loves all kinds of music (except country, which we disagree on). When he was 19 years old he asked me to adopt him. I told him that he was an adult and that I was already his mom as far as I was concerned, but he wanted me to and said you're my mom and I want everyone to know. So I did. May 11th, 2009, one of the happiest days of my life.
My daughters never considered him a step-brother, just their brother. The oldest girl threatened a bully who was picking on him when he was in 6th grade. She was in 8th grade and almost a foot shorter, but she wasn't going to let anyone pick on her brother. I'm happy to say that my three children are fine young adults and they love each other very much. I have no doubt that they will always be there for each other.
He just received the Undergraduate Award for Secondary Education from the College of Education at Morehead State University. My husband and I are so very proud of him. Both the girls have moved away and have their lives and are quite happy. And now it is his turn. We are preparing to move him to Cambridge Massachusetts. He will be studying music performance at the Longy Conservatory of Bard College, where he was awarded the largest monetary scholarship that they gave this year. He even received a call from the President of the Conservatory. Who knows what lies before him. He is truly going to be living his dream. His dad and I are going to miss him terribly. No more trombone playing for hours on end. No more craziness. No more weird concoctions being cooked in the kitchen. No more kisses on the top of my head. No more picking on JoJo.
God blessed me with a son. He trusted me to raise him to become a man. His dad and I have done our best. We've made mistakes, but we always did our best. This amazing young man will start his own life next week. I'm sure he's ready, even though I want to think he will always need me. I know he doesn't. God trusted me and now I will trust Him to look after my son as he lives his dream.
The shop will be closed beginning Wednesday, May 30th until Thursday, June 14th. You can reach me by email or on my cell phone.