“Are you excited?” I asked as we backed out of the driveway.
“I’m terrified,” he replied, rubbing his palms on his thighs.
“You’re awesome either way,” I told him, “and you’ll know tonight.”
“I just want it so bad!” he said, looking over at me. The fluorescent logo on his t-shirt glowed in the morning sun. I merged onto the main road, hoping for traffic slow downs on the way so I could enjoy his company for a few extra minutes.
I looked over at Jack and remembered how, three years earlier, he hadn’t wanted to join the marching band. Now it wasn’t something he would consider not doing. The boy that always says, “let’s just forget it and go home” when things don’t go well is the one who gets up an hour early on the days he has band.
“Aaaahhh! I just wanna know!” he says. Then something catches his eye in oncoming traffic. “Ooo, check out that black Ferrari,” he says, grateful to the break in anxiety.
“Nice,” I reply, and wink at him. Every day we’re on the lookout for super cars.
He switches the radio to the iPod and turns on our favourite driving song. We’re only one song away from school now.
“If I make it into drumline I still get a new drum pad right?”
“Of course. You need something better to practice on.”
He brightens up.
“I’m full of knots!” he says, fidgeting in his seat.
I drop him off and I notice he has a hop in his step. Halfway to the door he stops and turns and runs back to the car with his sunglasses in hand. “I forgot,” he says and hands them to me.
“See you later! I loooove you!” I tease him after seeing that there is no one around to hear me.
On the drive home I put our song on repeat even though I feel like I’m cheating on him in some way. I’m full of nerves too. He’s worked hard but we both know it’s not a given that he gets a drum. I say a prayer of gratitude for what this nervous anticipation is teaching him about patience and perseverance and I thank God for bringing us here. I also pray for patience and for wisdom so I can comfort him if things don’t work out.