Sunday, March 07, 2010

How to make a difference to someone

This person probably has no idea he's impacted my daughter's life as much as he has. I wish I'd get the chance to tell him.

He's the kid front and center in the photo on this post. He's a senior at her school, the lead in the school production of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." He was so phenomenal in the role (including the unicycle riding) that they did not cast an understudy. The comparison would not have been fair.

The entire production was unbelievable, not to mention that a high school did this. The sets were incredible, including the scenes where Augustus gets sucked up the chocolate pipe and where Charlie and hig grandfather are floating around with the bubbles. We were mesmerized.

That said, he's also an award-winning drum major for the marching band. There's a couple of videos on of their homecoming performance. If you want to sit through them (one is short and one is long), you'll see why he's award-winning. He's the tall kid, front and center, in the orange uniform. Born to perform, I swear.

The short one - the Drum Major entrance

The longer one - the performance

Daughter is a freshman. She's new to the drumline. She should fly under his senior-status radar. Or so you'd think.

But no. I first saw him during marching band rehearsals, during the summer. I had picked up Daughter and a couple of friends for lunch, during one of their breaks. This boy pulled up beside us at a stoplight, his car overflowing with other senior friends.

Slowly and dramaticly, he turned a sunglass-topped grin over his should at Daughter and her friends in my car.

"Hey girl! How you doin'?" Which started a small chorus of "How you doin'?" from his pals.

Daughter cracked up at him, which seemed to make him smile, as we left the stop light.

When school started, she was delighted that he was one of the upperclassmen who went out of their way to say "hi" to her in the hallways. Her friends were appropriately impressed that it was the first day at their new school, and Daughter already had friends established. And senior friends at that! Ah...high school society....

After the school-year rehearsals started, the band still spent time doing stretches to prepare for practice. Daughter is quite body-conscious....or rather, self-conscious....and hates doing public stretches. But the band kids must pick a spot on the ground and go to it. She just wanted to shrink into the ground and get it over with.

But here comes this drum major. He picks a spot right beside her and says, "Hey Daughter! How are you doing?"

He engages her in conversaton about starting high school, her classes, teachers, band....then another upperclassman approaches.

"Hey, did you hear about...." he starts, to the drum major. He literally walked into the middle of the conversation and started a new one, excluding Daughter. She assumed she'd just gone by the wayside, being "just" a freshman.

"Wait a minute," says the drum major. "You just interupted my conversation here with Daughter."

The other boy laughs, taking it as a joke. "Yeah. So, did you..." he keeps going.

"I'm serious, man," says drum major. "Can't you see I'm having a very important conversation with Daughter here? You're going to have to wait." He says it with just enough humor in his voice that the other kid isn't offended, but he makes his point. The other kid waits his turn.

And Daughter finishes her conversation with someone who made her feel like what she had to say really mattered.

A lot of teenage girls would develop a crush on someone with this dynamic personality, who made them feel important. Not Daughter. She has a great respect for him as a leader, and a friend. She's watched him help lead their marching band through some tough things this year. His humor and charisma helped keep their pride up.

I don't know if he understands how he impacts others by just being himself. I hope I get the chance to tell him, as this kid heads off into the adult world. I'm hoping it'll be a life lesson he takes with him. I hope the world is good to him.


Ronjazz said...

The young man learned early. I admire that. And hopefully that means your girl will pass that on as well.

Isn't it nice to know that life can still throw surprises at us, even in little ways like this...:)

Blogget Jones said...

She has a similar outgoing personality, so I also hope she has learned well how to put that to good use. For others.

And I think you're right -- these are delightful surprises in life, that really make it feel like living!

:o) BJ

Little T said...

It is wonderful to hear a positive story about a teenager! It sounds like daughter has found a valuable friend.

Blogget Jones said...

She has, so we'll be sad to see him go next year. I think the whole school will feel his absence! I'm hoping she's one of the kids who steps into the gap!

:o) BJ

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Awwww it's nice to hear about a DECENT young man! :)


HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Blogget Jones said...

Hey, thanks!! And it's really refreshing to see a kid like this one, doing his part to influence his little world.

Take care!
:o) BJ