Your Son Is Special.
I knew Dylan would be busy in high school. I did not, however, realize how busy he would be – or how fast it would happen.
Dylan has volunteered to work at the local Halloween attraction (scaring the wits out of people) for two months. He will work six to eight hours, twice a week. In addition, he got a small part in the school play, so he will be staying after school for hours, at least a few times a week.
In addition, he has decided to try tennis. For some odd reason, I thought this would be his only extracurricular activity this fall – so he is scheduled for tennis once a week, all the way through January.
And in case some time accidentally got leftover in his schedule, he started with a new church youth group last week, and they need a guitar player for the Praise Band. Dylan volunteered. He did, after all, take guitar once a week at school last year.
So I decided to get him guitar lessons.
I texted his voice coach – the highest-notch teacher he has, who is honing his exceptional singing skills. Dylan sounds like a full-grown man when he’s with his voice coach, and possibly a full-grown man who sings at the Met.
“I think we’re going to have to take a break on voice,” I said. “With all the other things he has to do, I just don’t think he can squeeze it in.”
The voice coach called me.
“Who’s teaching him the guitar?” he asked.
“Well,” I said, having Yelped the situation, “I’m emailing some guy named Billy.”
The voice coach was very calm. “I’ve been teaching guitar for 55 years,” he said. “So some guy named Billy could do it, but…”
“We’d love to have you teach him!” I practically screamed. “We could combine voice with guitar!” This teacher is – to put it mildly – incredibly musically gifted, Peabody-educated and a true artist in his field. Plus, he’s a great teacher and Dylan likes him.
“I can do that,” he said. “We’ll work it out. I think if Dylan sticks with me for four years, when it’s time for him to apply for scholarships, he’ll be ready for that.”
“When that time comes,” I said, “you will have to point me in the right direction. I didn’t even know there were voice scholarships.”
“There are for the kids who are exceptional,” he said. “They aren’t there for everybody. But I think you know that your son is special.”
I almost fell over when he said that. In all the hoopla over Dylan’s schedule, I had forgotten that Dylan was special. I had forgotten that he was musically gifted, incredibly brilliant, sweet, kind and funny.
I had forgotten that my own son was special.
When I got off the phone, Dylan was playing the piano. He’d taught himself something by Lincoln Park – a phenomenal piano version of an otherwise electronic song. When I walked in, he started playing one-handed and without looking at the keys.
I told him what his voice coach had said, and gave him a hug.
“I don’t want you to forget how special you are,” I said.
I’m not sure exactly which emotion caused my tears.