We raise our children, and try to guide them down a path. Then light dawns on Marblehead. They already had it all figured out.
Peter, Molly and I just picked up Maggie from her stint at band camp. Mind you, this whole adventure was Maggie's idea. After 2 wonderful summers with the Garth Fagan Summer Movement Institute, Maggie announced that this year she wanted to go north, to take part in the SUNY Potsdam band camp at Crane Music School, Crane Youth Music (CYM). So we paid the bill signed her up, filled out the forms, picked Laurel (a new oboist with the RPYO) as a roommate, found a phone that would function north of Watertown, and set off on Maggie's Big Adventure.
We heard from Maggie on a regular basis, but not every day. Maggie won principal bassoon in Symphonic Band. She had 37 bug bites. It was blazingly hot in the dorm rooms (thank you, Wellmans, for the box fan!). Her teacher, Carol Lowe, was great. Her band got better with each rehearsal. She got in a peanut butter fight, but managed to spare her clothes and the furniture. What we couldn't hear was the paradigm shift that was occuring 230 miles away.
When the monster concert was over, we met her teacher, who spoke glowingly of Maggie's potential. Her fellow bassoonists loved her, the youngest in the group. Her band conductor told friends how good she is. Out to dinner with family, then to my sister and brother-in-law's house, where we looked at photos of the bassoon studio on Facebook. There was our little girl, sitting proudly with the other 6 bassoonists. And there they all were in the basson-as-bazooka shot, Maggie smiling wildly. And it hit me: our daughter is a band geek, and she wears the badge with pleasure.
We should have seen this coming.
From day one, Maggie has only wanted to play the bassoon. She told us 2 months ago that all she wanted for Christmas was a bassoon. She was placed immediately in the High School Wind Ensemble. Her NYSSMA score was fabulous. How could we miss the signs that somehow, with very little nudging on our part, our younger daughter has become, like her big sister, a motivated musician? But there she was, sitting with all the older teens, looking every bit like the Girl Who Belongs. All on her own. All by her choice. Maggie looks so happy. And we couldn't be prouder.