Some days, the best thing about being a parent is the chance to meet your children's friends and acquaintances.
Some days, it's not so great.
Isaac plays second chair flute in his band, and he's unhappy about it. Later today he will "challenge" the first chair flute for her position. I love my son. I wish him success and happiness. But, due to a variety of reasons, I also know the first chair flute and my heart breaks for her.
I met "B" a couple of years ago when I had a long-term substitute position and she was in one of the classes. She's quiet, somewhat shy, the oldest in a family of several girls, and at the time, had perhaps more than her fair share of adolescent awkwardness. She's growing out of her awkwardness and is hard-working and dedicated to the band. She always smiles and speaks to me when we see each other, and I'm pleased to see her successes. First chair flute was a major success for her.
Now, Isaac is challenging that success.
Isaac has an advantage in that he performs well under pressure. He has thought his placement was wrong since the day it was posted, and maybe he's right. He has worked all weekend on the challenge music and feels that he is well prepared. Undoubtedly B has also prepared well.
I hope that no matter what, my son is gracious. Win or lose, I hope that he will thank the director for his time, and give a fair report to his private lessons teacher (who is B's teacher as well). If he loses, I hope that he will look B in the eye and congratulate her, but most of all, if he wins, I hope he will be kind and remember that his success is not his alone, and that with greater honor goes greater responsibility.
And I hope neither one of them cries.