Hello! If everything goes according to plan, I should be in Africa as you read this. What an exciting thought! I hope y’all are having a wonderful day. And now, please sit back and enjoy the 54th segment of my fictional story, When Life Hands You Lymes.
Mom was talking on the phone when I looked in her office, so I quietly sat down behind her, waiting for her to get off. I scrolled through Facebook, looking at all my birthday greetings, feeling loved and cared about. It made me happy that even though I wasn’t hanging out with my friends much any more they hadn’t forgotten about me.
“Well, you look bright and chipper.” Mom’s compliment made me smile. Who doesn’t like looking nice on their birthday?
“Thanks. I’m starving for that breakfast you mentioned, is your offer still open?”
Mom jumped up from her desk and pulled her purse off it’s hook. “Of course. Let’s go. Sherwood’s serves breakfast all day, why don’t we go there?”
And that’s how I ended up eating French toast and drinking orange juice at four-thirty on a Friday afternoon.
“Do you have anything you’re especially excited about for this year?” Mom asked after we’d been eating for a few minutes.
My chewing turned thoughtful as I ponder her question. I had spent about three hours somewhere between midnight and sunrise contemplating the subject and now I just needed to figure out a way to word it.
“I’ve enjoyed getting to send extra time on practicing my music this past year. Since I’m not hanging out with friends much it frees up more time to dedicate to the piano and violin. Plus, of course being in the Ashburg Symphony has been really rewarding. I’m hoping to move my music up another notch.”
I fall silent, debating if I should mention school or not. After the disaster my life was last year while trying to go to high school, the very word made me break out in a sweat. Shaking the thought away, I gave Mom a smile, determined not to let anything get me down on this special day.
“Music.” Mom nodded. “I’ve really seen an improvement in the last couple of months.”
That surprised me. “You have?”
“Yes. There’s more feeling in it now. When I listen to it I can tell you’re really putting your heart into it more than you ever did before.”
Beaming at her kind words, I thought about the many sleepless nights I’d spent in my music room, freeing my emotions from my numbed brain. Sometimes I wondered what I would do, how I would have been able to cope if it weren’t for my music.
“Do you know what you want to do with your music yet? Long term?”
Mom’s words open a floodgate of words that spill into my mouth, but I hold them back. I’m not sure if I’m ready to share my ideas with anyone yet, not even Mom. On one hand I’m thrilled that she seemingly accepts the idea of me dedicating my life to music instead of Emerson Airlines like the rest of my family, but on the other hand I’m a little nervous that she’ll want me to have a plan set in stone and I don’t have that at all.
“I’m still thinking about it,” I finally answer, hoping she’ll not feel like I’m brushing her off.
Mom shakes her head, “I still can’t imagine how someone as unmusical as me got the gift of such a talented musician as you. I can’t even keep time while clapping.”
I dip a little square of French toast into my maple syrup and swirl it around. “Dad’s kinda musical.”
“Kinda is the key word there, my dear.” Mom tilted her head, considering me. “Have you ever thought of trying to write songs?”
“It has entered my mind. Why do you ask?”
“I was reading an interview recently by a famous song writer and they said that a lot of their best songs are written after they’ve gone through a trying time. I thought of everything you’ve been through and it occurred to me that maybe everything will help you write songs that other people can relate to. People can generally spot a fake from a hundred miles away, and your trials will give your music a realness that will attract others.”
I was quiet during the ride home. I was tired and my conversation with Mom had given me a lot to ponder.
“Why don’t you lie down until your friends get here tonight?” Mom suggested. “I thought we would eat right after they got here then we could spend the rest of the evening doing a quiet activity.”
Feeling little twinges of excitement about the evening, I went up to my bedroom and promptly fell asleep.