Swan Songs…

Number One Son’s Senior Year has come to a close, and so lots of things are coming to an end.

Classes came to an end a week or so ago because the International Baccalaureate exams are held earlier than the regular final exams.  He had a choice of how his days would look:  getting up at the last possible minute, rushing to school, and sitting in a study hall setting for a few weeks with nothing to study – OR – or sleeping in late, grabbing brunch from the fridge, doing a little piano practice, a chore or two, and heading out for frisbee.  Which do you think he picked?  Of course, the only reason this worked is because  #1 Son’s attendance has been quite good.  He calculated how many days he could miss and still qualify to graduate.  It worked.

Every-afternoon-Monday-through-Friday-and-Saturday-morning-crew-practice ended when Ian’s boat placed third in Men’s Varsity-4 at States in Occoquan, VA in mid-May.   In the photo his boat is the middle boat, he is second from the left.  He was bummed, so were we.  Last year we had thought to see him in Nationals in late May, but there is no accounting for the mystery of boat unity (team chemistry).  Last year his boat was tight, this year, he was in a different boat and they just didn’t have the spark.  Regardless, Ian has several medals and many ribbons that I’ll need to figure out a way to frame!  We would love to see him row at George Mason.  Of course they practice quite early in the morning before classes, so we’ll see…

Boy Scouts on Monday nights, which has been a regular weekly event for well over six years ceased with #1 Son’s 18th birthday in April.  It’s been downright weird!  The weeks after Christmas and through the spring were a little hectic as he put finishing touches on things related to his Eagle Candidacy, but now Monday evenings are strangely calm, everyone is home together, it’s weird – but wonderful!

Tears pricked our eyes as we sat and listened to Ian perform at his last high school piano recital this past Sunday.  He played Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca.  It seems that he remembers it well from enduring Grace’s  Baby Mozart video, and was excited when his teacher suggested it as a Guild piece.  He plays it quite powerfully! Papa Gene picked up Grandma Midge for the recital,  and then we all went out for dinner afterwards (Thanks, Papa Gene!).  Ian has a Piano Guild audition in mid-June, and after that a commitment to play at church, so at least his home performances will not be ending!

We enjoyed his last High School Orchestra concert very much!  The IB Degree program has a music track for instrumentalists which doesn’t typically include piano.  The Orchestra Director, Mr. Larkin, was kind enough to work with Ian in the Orchestra setting so he could apply his years of piano study to the IB Music track.   It wasn’t a perfect fit,  but it was always interesting!  We were never quite sure what to expect when attending a concert!  Sometimes Ian had a genuine piano part, sometimes he would double the strings, sometimes he was helping out in percussion! For this final concert he did play keyboard – the Theme to James Bond, and Don’t Stop Believing (by Journey – yes there is a piano part!).   The concert theme of classic rock themes was pretty popular with the performers! It was the best concert, by far, of the two years he’s been in Orchestra.

So, we hear swan songs, but there are strong notes of satisfaction as well.

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