Yesterday was the second Sunday in July, which, duh, means that we attended Tom’s family reunion. It was the 91st reunion of Ezra and Elizabeth Ordinary’s descendants. Tom’s father was a grandson to Ezra and Elizabeth. So that makes Tom their great grandson and our girls are their great great granddaughters; kind of awesome when you think about it that way, huh?
Over the past few years, Tom’s older sisters have lamented that the kids at today’s reunions aren’t are involved at they were when they (the sisters) were involved. They reminisce fondly about the old days when the kids put on a talent show for the adult attendees.
This year, a couple of months ago, Tom suggested to Alyssa that she take her flute to the reunion. She rolled her eyes at him (have I mentioned she’s thirteen?) but then about a week later, I hear her practicing The Star Spangled Banner. She practiced on both her flute and on her piccolo.
As the weeks flew by, she practiced a little less because suddenly gymnastics were at the forefront of her mind. She’s been stretching her muscles instead of playing her flute.
But at the beginning of this week, Olivia reminded Lyss that the reunion was just a few days away.
Lyss asked Tom if he was serious about her playing at the reunion and this time, it was his turn to roll his eyes. “Of course I was serious,” he told her.
So with just a few days before the reunion, she started practicing again. This time, she only practiced on the flute. She explained, “Tiberius (the piccolo) is just so high pitched that every little mistake is very obvious.”
Ha! So she became acquainted with her flute all over again and remembered who much she loves it.
At the reunion yesterday, several people asked about the music stand that Tom carried from his van. He would smile and give a vague shrug.
Finally all the food was eaten, Tom had taken care of the business part of the reunion and one of his sisters piped up, “We need these kids to entertain us!”
Laughter filtered through the pavilion and Tom replied, “Funny you should mention that.”
He looked at Lyss, who opened her flute case, put her flute together and set up her music.
And the crowd went silent as she played the national anthem with nary a mistake to be heard.
The applause when she finished was huge. She couldn’t keep the smile off her face. Her confidence when she’s playing amazes me. I love to see her do something she knows she does well. I love that she’s so willing to practice hard to learn the music and then wants to perform for others so they can enjoy the fruits of her labors.
As she cleaned her flute and put it away, so many extended family members came up to her to thank her for playing and to tell her how well she’d done.
My shy girl, the one about whom it was noted when she went to kindergarten testing, “Will not speak.”
That very girl smiled at people who may be related even if somewhat distantly but are mostly strangers for the most part, and thanked them…with words.
Even the twelve year old son of a cousin (which, yes, makes him Lyss’s first cousin once removed but whatever) came up to her and said, “Wow, you just played high school music. That was great.”
Then he mentioned that he plays the tenor sax. I suggested he bring his sax next year and he kind of shrugged. I guess we’ll see.
For now I’m going to bask in my girl’s success. She’s always been amazing. This weekend she got to be amazing in front of more people than just me, her dad and her sister. That’s pretty cool.